Mount Kanlaon Volcanic Activity Update

Mount Kanlaon Volcanic Activity Update

Volcanic activity at Mount Kanlaon has recently raised concerns. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has reported increased volcanic sulfur dioxide gas emissions from the volcano. Mount Kanlaon is currently under Alert Level 2, signifying potential for eruption.

Volcanic Gas Emissions Decrease But Threat Remains

While recent reports show a decrease in volcanic gas emissions, Phivolcs warns that these levels are still high compared to normal. The high magmatic gas level indicates a possibility of an explosion or eruption in the future. Phivolcs urges residents to stay vigilant and avoid the volcano’s danger zone for their safety.

Cause of Increased Gas Emissions

Phivolcs attributes the increase in volcanic gas emissions to two possible causes. It could be caused by groundwater interacting with volcanic gases or magma moving closer to the surface. Regardless of the cause, the potential for eruption remains.

Mount Kanlaon: Safety Measures

Phivolcs advises people to stay out of the four-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone around the volcano. They also urge pilots to avoid flying near the crater to ensure their safety.

Mount Kanlaon Eruptive History

Nicknamed “The Sleeping Beauty of Negros,” Mount Kanlaon is the most active volcano in the Visayas. It has erupted 30 times since 1819, with eruptions typically being phreatic and of small to moderate size. These eruptions produce minor ash falls around the volcano. In 1902, however, Mount Kanlaon exhibited a Strombolian eruption, characterized by the ejection of incandescent cinders, lapilli, lava bombs, and gas fumes.

The Philippines and the Ring of Fire

The Philippines sits on a geologically active zone known as the Ring of Fire. This horseshoe-shaped region encircles the Pacific Ocean and is characterized by frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Being part of the Ring of Fire makes the Philippines particularly susceptible to these natural hazards. The constant movement of tectonic plates beneath the surface generates the energy that triggers earthquakes and volcanic activity. This location also exposes the Philippines to tsunamis, which can be devastating coastal events.

Despite the inherent risks, the Ring of Fire also brings benefits to the Philippines. Volcanic activity has contributed to the formation of fertile soils ideal for agriculture. Additionally, geothermal energy harnessed from volcanic heat provides a clean and renewable source of power for the country. While the Ring of Fire presents challenges, Filipinos have adapted and learned to coexist with this ever-present geological force.



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