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Towns and cities in Negros Island are on alert for ash fall after Mount Kanlaon erupted yesterday morning.
A report from Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said the phreatic eruption, the result of ground water coming into contact with magma, occurred at around 9:19 a.m. and was ongoing as of 9:46 a.m.
Phivolcs said Kanlaon spewed ash almost 1,500 meters high from the crater. Also reported was weak emission of white steam plumes that rose 100 meters that drifted southwest and northwest.
Ash fall was experienced in Barangays San Miguel, Gintubdan and Araal in La Carlota, Negros Occidental, reports said.
Before the eruption, Kanlaon’s seismic monitoring recorded three earthquakes during the past 24 hours.
Dr. Zeaphard Caelian, chief of the Negros Occidental Provincial Disaster Management Program Division, said that cities and towns in the vicinity of Kanlaon are monitoring for ash fall.
Caelian said that wind direction from Kanlaon plays a pivotal role where the ash fall will go.
Ash fall alert was raised in Bago City, La Carlota City, San Carlos City, Moises Padilla, Murcia, and Pontevedra, Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental.
Phivolcs has placed Kanlaon under Alert Level 1, which means that it is current in a state of unrest probably driven by hydro-thermal process that could generate more minor eruptions. Caelian said evacuation will be imposed when it reaches Alert Level 3.
Authorities warned the public anew against entering the four-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone of Kanlaon due to further possibilities of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or minor ash eruption.
Civil aviation authorities advised pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as airborne ash from a sudden eruption can be hazardous to aircraft. (with a report from PNA) (TARA YAP)