Kanlaon Volcano showing signs of abnormality

Kanlaon’s ground deformation data showed a slight inflation of the lower and middle slopes since June 2020.

Residents near Kanlaon Volcano in Negros Occidental have been advised to remain vigilant due to the increased possibility of phreatic or steam-driven eruptions.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the volcano’s monitoring network recorded 28 volcanic earthquakes between Feb. 11 and 13.

The sulfur dioxide emission reached 1,130 tons on Saturday, the highest recorded this year, Phivolcs said.

Kanlaon’s ground deformation data showed a slight inflation of the lower and middle slopes since June 2020.

The data indicated that a slow pressurization activity is occuring inside the volcano.

“These parameters could indicate hydrothermal, tectonic or even deep-seated magmatic processes beneath the edifice,” Phivolcs said in an advisory issued on Saturday night.

“The observational parameters signify that Kanlaon is in a restive state, with increased possibilities of phreatic or steam-driven explosions occurring at the summit crater,” the agency added.

Phivolcs cautioned the public against entering the volcano’s four-kilometer permanent danger zone due to sudden and hazardous phreatic eruptions, which may occur without warning.

Phivolcs said seven volcanic quakes were recorded during the 24-hour observation period yesterday as well as moderate emission of white steam-laden plumes that rose 500 meters.

Hazard hunter app launched

Meanwhile, state seismologists launched a one-stop shop geographic information system platform for hazard assessment service.

The HazardHunterPH app, which is initially available for Android phone users, can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

The app will soon be available on iOS devices, Phivolcs said.

The app also aims to increase people’s awareness of natural hazards and advocates the implementation of plans to prepare for and mitigate effects of natural disasters. — via Albert Rovic Tan

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