Bacolod City – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reported recently of a sudden increase of gas emissions from the summit crater of Kanlaon volcano.
In an advisory, Phivolcs disclosed that the sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas emission at the volcano increased to an average of 1,099 tonnes per day, the highest value recorded this year, and also higher compared to its normal average of 124 tonnes per day recorded since March this year.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), a sudden increase SO2 gas emission indicates that the volcano’s magma is relatively near the surface.
The Kanlaon Volcano network a recorded 141 volcanic earthquakes between April 1 to April 30 this year, an average of five per day.
These earthquakes occurred at shallow depths to depths of 10 kilometers across the northern to western portions of the edifice, Phivolcs said.
It added that ground deformation data from continuous GPS and electronic tilt measurements have been recording short-term inflation of the lower and middle slopes since March 2023, indicating slow pressurization within the volcano.
These parameters could indicate increased hydrothermal activity occurring beneath the edifice, possibly driven by degassing of even deeper magma, with increased possibilities of phreatic or steam-driven explosions occurring at the summit crater, Phivolcs further said.
Kanlaon volcano is currently under Alert Level 1, which means that it is at abnormal condition and has entered a period of unrest.
The public has been strongly advised not to enter the four-kilometer radius permanent danger zone due to possible sudden and hazardous eruptions. (Gilbert Bayoran via tvds photo by tvds)