Source: Celso Amo |
Students in Sorsogon head home as Mt. Bulusan again spewed ash the other day, its fifth ash-driven explosion since Nov. 6. EDD GUMBAN
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Government scientists are closely watching the currently restive Mt. Bulusan in Sorsogon and Mt. Mayon, 70 kilometers away in Albay, which they said could possibly erupt together as they did four years ago.
“There’s a possibility and it’s not remote that both volcanoes which both erupted in 2006 will erupt in the coming days,” Renato Solidum, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) director, said after an aerial survey of Bulusan last Wednesday.
Bulusan has had five ash-driven explosions since last Nov. 6. The aerial survey showed that its two craters have “coalesced” and that the ash was mainly deposited at the southwest sector toward Irosin town.
Phivolcs scientist Ed Laguerta, who accompanied Solidum and Office of Civil Defense regional director Bernardo Alejandro in the aerial survey, also confirmed the likelihood that both volcanoes could erupt together again.
“The possibility is there and (it) could be repeated,” Laguerta told The STAR in a text message yesterday morning.
“But there was no study done about it because both volcanoes have different systems,” he added.
Both are active strato volcanoes and are now under alert level 1. But Mayon has a single straight vent, while Bulusan has four craters.
Meanwhile, Malacañang yesterday appealed to residents living near Bulusan to cooperate with the authorities, amid reports that some villagers continue to venture into the four-kilometer danger zone to attend to their farms.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said this could pose difficulties to the local government and disaster officials.
“They (disaster and local government officials) are ready once the Phivolcs gives signs that a forced evacuation is necessary. But we heard that some residents refused to leave, saying they already know the temperament of the volcano,” Valte said in an interview with radio station dzRB. – With Alexis Romero