Published: Wednesday 13 December, 2017

Kanlaon Volcano Alert Level 2 Up After 578 Earthquakes in 24 Hours

Volcanologists are closely monitoring Kanlaon Volcano after it registered 578 earthquakes in 24 hours. Alert Level 2 has been raised by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) as Kanlaon Volcano, aka Mt. Kanlaon, shows signs of unrest.

Kanlaon Volcano alert

Kanlaon Volcano in the island of Negros. (Wikipedia image)

In the latest bulletin from Phivolcs, it said that Mt. Kanlaon is “undergoing a moderate level of unrest”.

“There is probable intrusion of magma at depth which may or may not lead to a magmatic eruption,” said the Phivolcs advisory:

Kanlaon Volcano’s seismic monitoring network recorded five hundred seventy eight (578) volcanic earthquakes during the past 24 hours. Moderate emission of white steam-laden plumes that rose to 800 meters before drifting northwest was observed. Ground deformation data from continuous GPS measurements indicate slight inflation of the edifice since December 2015. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission was measured at an average of 603 tonnes/day on 12 December 2017.

Alert Level 2 status prevails over Kanlaon Volcano, which means that the volcano is undergoing a moderate level of unrest. There is probable intrusion of magma at depth which may or may not lead to a magmatic eruption. The local government units and the public are strictly reminded that entry into the 4-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) is strictly prohibited due to the further possibilities of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or phreatic eruptions. Civil aviation authorities must also advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ejecta from any sudden phreatic eruption can be hazardous to aircraft. DOST-PHIVOLCS is closely monitoring Kanlaon Volcano’s activity and any new development will be relayed to all concerned.

At a press conference on wednesday, Renato Solidum, Phivolcs director, said Kanlaon Volcano acted up again an many weeks.

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“After many, many weeks na tumigil ang earthquake, in the past 24 hours ay 578 volcanic earthquakes ang naitala natin na karamihan maliliit at sa tingin namin nandoon pa rin [sa] bandang malalim,” said Solidum. “Therefore, we will closely monitor the activity of [the] volcano.”

Kanlaon is the most active volcano in the central Philippines. It has erupted 28 times since 1819. In 1996, a sudden eruption killed a British and two Filipino mountain climbers who were part of a group that included another British climber, six other Filipinos and ten Belgians. Aside from the three fatalities, the rest descended the volcano safely.

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Mt. Kanlaon has been showing signs of unrest for the past 17 years.