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Bulusan ash fall affects 6 areas in Sorsogon


source: Ellalyn B. De Vera | mb.com.ph
November 10, 2010, 8:14pm

MANILA, Philippines — Six areas in Sorsogon have so far been affected by the latest ash fall from Bulusan Volcano, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said on Wednesday.

The episodes of steam-driven explosions at 3:30 p.m. and 3:43 p.m. last Tuesday produced grayish ash columns that reached heights of up to 1,000 meters.

Volcanologist July Sabit said the ash drifted southward affecting barangays Cogon, Tinampo, Monbon, Bolos and the town proper of Irosin town, and Sangkayon in Juban town.

These areas were located in the southwest and west-northwest sectors of Bulusan Volcano.

Phivolcs noted that sulfur dioxide emission measured last Tuesday yielded a value of 168 tons per day.

“The sulfur dioxide emission of Mt. Bulusan is still under the normal level of 500 tons per day,” Sabit said.

“Prior to the explosions, the seismic network detected two unfelt volcanic earthquakes, while steaming activity varied from very weak to moderate,” he added.

Phivolcs maintained that the explosions are typical of Bulusan Volcano’s activity during its restive period, but it expects more explosions to occur in view of the volcano’s recent reactivation.

Alert Level 1 has been raised, which means that the public is not allowed to enter the four-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ).

“The public is strongly advised not to venture inside this area because it may be affected by sudden steam explosions,” Phivolcs said.

“Meanwhile, people residing near valleys and streams are also advised to be vigilant against sediment-laden stream flows in the event of heavy and continuous rainfall,” it added.

According to Rene Paciente, senior weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), a cold front prevailing over Luzon will bring light to moderate rains in the Bicol Region.

“The thick clouds are concentrated in Luzon but occasional rains will prevail in the eastern sections of Northern and Central Luzon. Thin clouds also reach Bicol Region causing light to moderate rains in the region,” Paciente said.

Phivolcs also warned residents located in the northwest and southwest sectors of the volcano against ash falls due to the prevailing wind direction.

In a related development, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has already provided 600 pieces of dust masks to the municipality of Casiguran.

The masks were distributed to residents of barangays Tigbao, San Isidro and Inlagadian.

DSWD Undersecretary Alicia Bala assured affected residents of a sufficient stockpile of relief commodities composed of 1,088 family packs with food worth P103,750, and non-food items such as clothing, blankets, and mats equivalent to P15.7 million.

She said DSWD-Region 5 (Bicol Region) also provided P10,000 worth of relief assistance composed of family packs and food items for the family-evacuees from Casiguran.

Meanwhile, Salbutamol medicines were provided by the local government unit to children of Casiguran who were affected by ash fall.

DSWD-Region 5 Director Remia Tapispisan said that the situation in the vicinity of Mt. Bulusan is peaceful and normal.

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