Volcano eruption in C. Philippines prompts evacuation of 2,000 people

Published: 23/02/2011 05:00



At least 2,000 people have been
evacuated to safer grounds following Monday’s explosion on Mt. Bulusan in the
central Philippine province of Sorsogon.

Residents of
Irosin township, Sorsogon province, about 600 kilometers (373 miles) southeast
of Manila, Philippines, watch Mt. Bulusan volcano as it spews ash into the sky
Monday, Feb. 21, 2011 in another phreatic explosion. Volcanologists warned there
might be steam-driven phreatic explosions in the next days but alert level stays
at No.1, the lowest in the four-level warning system. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Maj. Harold Cabunoc, spokesman of the
Army’s 9th Infantry Division, said military trucks started evacuating the
residents living at the foot of the volcano soon after they received a report of
the explosion.

Cabunoc said the soldiers have brought
400 families to evacuation centers in Sorsogon. A total of 300 families were
brought to the Gallano High School in Irosin town while the other 100 families
were taken to the Cogon Elementary School in Juban town.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology
and Seismology ( PHILVOCS) reported Mt. Bulusan exploded 9:15 a.m., local time.
Ash from the steam-triggered explosion hit as high as two kilometers, according
to PHIVOLCS director Renato Solidum said.

PHIVOLCS hoisted an alert level 1 on Mt.
Bulusan and advised people not to enter inside the four-kilometer radius,
designated as a permanent danger zone. The agency is also advising pilots not to
fly close to the volcano’s summit.

Mt. Bulusan is the highest peak in
Sorsogon and covers a land area of 3,672 hectares. The volcano began spewing ash
and steam in December last year.


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