Mt. Kanlaon erupts; evacuation ordered

MOUNT Kanlaon, an active volcano in Negros Island, erupted for six minutes Monday night, producing a 5,000-meter plume, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.

The steam-driven or phreatic explosion occurred at the summit vent at 6:51 p.m.

As of 8 p.m., Phivolcs raised Mt. Kanlaon’s alert level from  Alert Level 1 (abnormal) to Alert Level 2 (increasing unrest), which  means “there is current unrest driven by shallow magmatic processes that could eventually lead to further explosive eruptions or even precede hazardous magmatic eruption.”

“Eruption produced a voluminous and incandescent plume that rapidly rose to 5,000 meters above the vent and probable short pyroclastic density currents approximately two to three kilometers down the southern and southeastern slopes,” it said.

The eruption was preceded by a relatively strong volcano-tectonic earthquake, the report further said.

Meanwhile, Canlaon City Mayor Jose Chubasco Cardenas ordered the evacuation of residents in four barangays following the eruption.

Residents of Barangays Masulog, Pula, Lumapao and Malaiba as well as their livestock, have to be evacuated immediately since these areas are in the permanent danger zone, Cardenas said.