Phivolcs down­grades Mt. Kan­laon alert level

Watchmen Daily Journal - - FRONT PAGE -

The Philip­pine In­sti­tute of Vol­canol­ogy and Seis­mol­ogy (Phivolcs) has down­graded the alert sta­tus on Mt. Kan­laon from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1.

Based on a Phivolcs bul­letin yes­ter­day morn­ing, the de­ci­sion to lower the alert level was based on four pa­ram­e­ters.

They pointed out a sig­nif­i­cant drop in seis­mic ac­tiv­ity, wherein they recorded low to base­line lev­els of zero to two vol­canic quakes per day.

Re­cent ground de­for­ma­tion data also showed a con­tin­ued in­fla­tion of the vol­cano’s ed­i­fice, which in­di­cates the pres­ence of pres­sur­iza­tion un­der the sur­face; how­ever, cur­rently it has been mov­ing at a sig­nif­i­cantly slow rate.

Phivolcs also noted a

de­cline in sul­fur diox­ide (SO2) emis­sions.

Ac­cord­ing to the United States Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey, SO2 emis­sions in­di­cate magma is near the sur­face. Mon­i­tor­ing such emis­sions helps in de­ter­min­ing the chances of an erup­tion. Although, in the case of Mt. Kan­laon, the rel­a­tively low lev­els of sul­fur diox­ide emis­sion is in­dica­tive of a pas­sive de­gassing from the hy­dro­ther­mal sys­tem rather than stored magma be­neath the vol­cano.

Vis­ual ob­ser­va­tions by var­i­ous Phivolcs ob­ser­va­to­ries sur­round­ing the vol­cano also wit­nessed weak to mod­er­ate steam dom­i­nated de­gassing since De­cem­ber of 2017, which is con­sis­tent with a de­cline in hy­dro­ther­mal ac­tiv­ity.

Phivolcs said the vol­cano’s cur­rent state means they are not ex­pect­ing any mag­matic erup­tion, how­ever, they are ad­vis­ing the pub­lic to still avoid en­ter­ing the four-kilo­me­ter per­ma­nent dan­ger zone.

The agency added, they will im­me­di­ately in­form the pub­lic if any new vol­canic ac­tiv­ity is ob­served.

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