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Bulusan ash falls on 2 areas in Sorsogon

February 21, 2011 10:13am

UPDATED 4:00 p.m. - Ash deposits accumulated in at least two areas in Sorsogon province after the restive Bulusan Volcano exploded for nearly 20 minutes early on Monday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Bulusan had ejected ash when it exploded for 19 minutes starting at 9:12 a.m.

The preliminary field investigation "confirmed the presence of ash deposit in Barangay Monbon and Irosin proper in Irosin, Sorsogon," the NDRRMC said in its 10:30 a.m. report on Monday.

Citing data from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), the NDRRMC said the event was recorded as an explosion-type earthquake lasting 19 minutes.

The NDRRMC said the quake was accompanied by a rumbling sound that was heard up to 10 kilometers away from Juban, Sorsogon.

"The explosion produced a greyish ash column that rose to a height of about three kilometers above the summit before drifting to the southwest," the NDRRMC said.

Alert Level 1

Earlier, Phivolcs said Bulusan's status remains at Alert Level 1, and reminded residents to keep away from the 4-kilometer permanent danger zone (PDZ).

Under Alert Level 1, no entry to the 4-kilomter radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) is allowed since the area is at risk to sudden steam and ash explosions.

Phivolcs also said that due to the prevailing wind direction, residents in the northwest and southwest sectors of the volcano are reminded to take precautions against ashfalls.

It added civil aviation authorities must also warn pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ejected ash and volcanic fragments from sudden explosions may be hazardous to aircraft.

The people living near valleys and river and stream channels were advised to be vigilant against sediment-laden stream flows and lahars in the event of heavy and prolonged rainfall.

Families evacuated

Radio dzBB’s Carlo Mateo on Monday said residents were evacuated from some affected villages.

Local Philippine Army units helped residents of some areas of Irosin and Juban affected by the ash fall evacuate to safer grounds, the report said.

The report also quoted Phivolcs director Renato Solidum Jr. as saying the explosion produced an ash column up to two kilometers high.

The report added that the ash column darkened the skies in some villages in Irosin town.

No fly zone

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) issued a Notice to Airmen (Notam) specifying that the vicinity of Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon was a "no fly zone."

The Notam warned pilots that the volcanic eruption in the area may cause engines to malfunction if they ingest ash.

CAAP Director General Ramon Gutierrez said they will issue updates as the condition of Mt. Bulusan changes. – VVP, GMA News
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