No immediate threats; Phivolcs assures Negrenses amidst uptick in Kanlaon unrest

Posted by watchmen
August 1, 2023
Posted in HEADLINE

By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) does not see any immediate threats from Kanlaon Volcano despite the recent uptick in volcanic activity in the past weeks.

In an emergency preparedness forum held at a mall in Bacolod City yesterday, Dr. Raymund Patrick Maximo, Phivolcs Science Research Specialist II, affirmed that they are monitoring increased activity at the Kanlaon.

Despite an uptick in volcanic activity, Maximo assured that it is still in a “normal” status and is not an immediate cause of alarm to the Negrenses.

In an advisory, Phivolcs recorded 35 volcanic-tectonic tremors around Kanlaon from July 20 to 21.

The earthquakes ranged from 0.9 to 2.3 magnitude, which occurred 12 to 15 kilometers below the volcano’s crater.

Tectonic earthquakes occur when rocks beneath the volcano move due to pressure from magma.

The volcano has also emitted a higher amount of sulfur dioxide gas, averaging 786 tonnes on July 18, higher than the average emission of 566 tonnes per day in March of this year.

Maximo also explained to the forum attendees that Negros island has volcanoes that are “potentially active,” including Mt. Mandalagan, located right beside Kanlaon; Mt. Silay; and Mt. Talinis or “Cuernos de Negros,” located 20 kilometers away from Negros Oriental’s Dumaguete City.

Maximo further explained that “potentially active” volcanoes usually “look young,” but have not erupted for the last 10,000 years.

He stated that Negros island also has several active fault lines — the West Negros Fault System, the Central Negros Fault System, the East Negros Fault System, and the Negros Trench — causing tremors on the island.

He clarified that these don’t have connections to Kanlaon’s unrest.

The 6.7-magnitude earthquake which struck Negros in 2012, with an epicenter located 72 kilometers north of Dumaguete, was later blamed on the movement of the East Negros Fault System, which was undiscovered at the time.

Maximo added that the Negros Trench, located on the southwest coast of Negros island, is also similarly dangerous, as not only could it cause damage and destruction, but could also generate a tsunami if the tremor is strong.

As part of safety precautions, Maximo is again urging local government units, not only in Negros, but also in the neighboring islands to strictly abide by the National Building Code of the Philippines or Republic Act 6541./DGB, WDJ


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