Philippine volcano spews ash smoke into air

Manila, June 18 (IANS) Mount Kanlaon in central Philippines erupted on Saturday, spewing columns of “white steam plumes” that rose up to 100 metres, authorities said.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said in a statement that Mount Kanlaon’s phreatic explosion occurred from 9.19 a.m. to 9.46 a.m., Xinhua news agency reported.

“Alert Level 1 status remains effect over Kanlaon Volcano, which means that it’s currently in a state of unrest probably driven by hypothermal processes that could generate more minor eruptions,” the institute said.

In the last 24 hours, the institute said it has recorded three volcanic earthquakes and observed “a weak emission of white steam plumes that rose up to 100 metres that drifted southwest and northwest.”

“Ground deformation measurements from continued GPS data as of June 2 indicated slight inflation of the Kanlaon edifice since December 2015,” the statement said.

The institute warned the people in the region not to enter the 4-km permanent danger zone, saying “sudden and hazardous steam-driven or minor ash eruptions” might occur.

It also advised pilots “to avoid flying close to the volcano summit as airborne ash from a sudden eruption can be hazardous to aircraft.”

“(The institute) is closely monitoring Kanlaon volcano’s activity and any new development will be relayed to all concerned,” the institute said.

–IANS

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