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Bulusan spews ash for 5th time

Source: Celso Amo |

LEGAZPI CITY, PhilippinesMt. Bulusan again spewed ash that reached about 700 meters above its main crater early yesterday morning. This is the volcano’s fifth ash-driven explosion since Nov. 6.

Crispulo Diolata Jr., head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) monitoring station in Sorsogon City, said the ash-driven explosion occurred at 6:59 a.m. and the gray ash column drifted toward Irosin town on the southwest.

The monitoring station is located about five kilometers from the 1,565-meter volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the country.

Diolata said seismic sensors also recorded four volcanic earthquakes during the past 24 hours.

Weak steaming was observed at the volcano’s summit before yesterday’s ash explosion.

A phreatic explosion occurs when hot steam comes into contact with water at the volcano’s upper vent.

“There is no new magma rising yet toward the vent,” Diolata said in a radio interview.

Ed Laguerta, Phivolcs scientist, said the ash ejected by Bulusan is from its previous eruption in 2007.

The Philippine National Red Cross in Sorsogon said there are now three evacuation centers for 39 families or 168 villagers, although Bulusan’s current unrest has already affected 4,561 families or 23,282 people in the towns of Casiguran, Juban and Irosin.

Meanwhile, tourism authorities in Bicol have warned tourists against trekking or undertaking any other tourism-related activity near the volcano. – With Helen Flores and Mayen Jaymalin

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