The Kanlaon Volcano in the central Philippines erupted explosively on Monday evening, spewing a massive ash plume 5 kilometers (3 miles) high into the sky. The eruption has led to disruptions including evacuations, flight cancellations and the suspension of work and schools in the affected areas.

Kanlaon Volcano Erupts, Sending 5km Ash Plume into Sky

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The Kanlaon Volcano eruption occurred at 6:51 p.m. local time (10:51 GMT) on Monday. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) described the eruption as phreatic or steam-driven by a volcano-tectonic earthquake.

The Kanlaon Volcano eruption produced a voluminous and incandescent plume that rose to 5,000 meters above the vent. The explosive event lasted for six minutes.

The Kanlaon Volcano eruption prompted the immediate suspension of work and schools in Canlaon City, Negros Oriental province. Three airlines canceled a total of 32 flights on Tuesday due to the volcanic activity.

Over 700 residents in the nearby Negros Occidental province sought shelter in evacuation centers. The mayor of Canlaon City, Jose Chubasco Cardenas ordered the evacuation of residents in four communities near the volcano via a Facebook announcement.

Phivolcs and local authorities advised the public to avoid the 4.4-kilometer (2.5-mile) permanent danger zone around the volcano due to risks of explosions, rockfall, and landslides.

Nearby communities experienced coarse ashfall and sulfurous odors. Teresito Bacolcol, chief of the state seismology agency advised people to wear face masks to protect themselves from volcanic ash.

Government officials warned of the risk of flash floods, mudflows and other hazards in rivers downstream from the volcano.

Phivolcs raised the alert level for Kanlaon volcano from one to two on a five-step scale indicating the possibility of further eruptions.

The state civil defense agency deployed response teams to affected areas to assist with evacuations and ensure the safety of residents. Phivolcs continues to monitor the situation and will provide updates as necessary.

Kanlaon volcano last erupted in December 2017. It is one of the Philippines’ two dozen active volcanoes. The Philippines is located in the Pacific “Ring of Fire” an area known for frequent volcanic activity and earthquakes.

Jose Chubasco Cardenas, Mayor of Canlaon City said, “Go down to your respective evacuation centres, be vigilant, and prepare important things such as water and food.”

Teresito Bacolcol, Chief of Phivolcs said, “We advise people to wear face masks to protect themselves from volcanic ash,” he said on DZBB radio station.

The Kanlaon Volcano eruption caused a strong earthquake and was followed by coarse ashfall affecting nearby communities.

The public has been advised to prepare for the dangers associated with volcanic eruptions including explosions, rockfalls, and landslides.

Civil aviation authorities have been alerted to advise pilots to avoid the volcano’s summit due to the hazardous ash.

In Negros Occidental province more than 700 people are taking shelter in evacuation centers, according to Governor Jose Lacson. He urged residents to stay in the shelters and reconsider if they have not yet evacuated.

The Kanlaon Volcano eruption lasted six minutes. The ash column reached a height of three miles (five kilometers). The eruption caused a “strong earthquake,” according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

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Forty-three volcanic earthquakes were recorded in the 24 hours leading up to midnight on Monday. Over 2,800 people moved into emergency centers due to the eruption.

The alert level for Mount Kanlaon was raised to 2 out of 5. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for residents within a 3-kilometer (1.8-mile) radius of the volcano.

Over 60 flights from three domestic carriers were canceled affecting more than 5,000 passengers. Bacolod-Silay Airport resumed operations by 11 a.m. on Tuesday, but delays were expected.

Kanlaon Volcano erupted spectacularly on Monday evening creating a visual display as a vast ash cloud shot into the starry night sky.

Social media was quickly flooded with images and videos showing the ash plume and the fallout blanketing surrounding villages.

Phivolcs warned of ash fall and sulfuric odor affecting the nearby communities. The eruption is classified as a seismic event and was accompanied by a strong earthquake that added to the urgency of evacuation efforts.

Local government officials ordered mandatory evacuations for residents living within a 3-kilometer radius of Mount Kanlaon.

Jose Chubasco Cardenas, the mayor of Canlaon City in Negros Oriental province urged residents to move to evacuation centers and prepare essential supplies such as water and food.

Lahars, which are massive flows of volcanic debris triggered by heavy rains pose a threat as they can bury entire villages.

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People living near rivers downstream of the volcano were also advised to evacuate. Non-essential businesses in the area were instructed to shut down temporarily to ensure public safety.

The ash cloud severely disrupted air travel leading to the cancellation of over 60 flights impacting more than 5,000 passengers.

Bacolod-Silay Airport, the nearest major airport to the volcano suspended operations overnight but resumed by 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

Passengers were advised to expect delays as the airport and airlines worked to manage the backlog and disruptions.

Kanlaon Volcano is one of 24 seismically active volcanoes in the Philippines, a country situated along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of seismic fault lines around the Pacific Ocean known for its high volcanic activity.

The Kanlaon Volcano, which straddles two provinces is the highest point on Negros Island, with an elevation of 8,086 feet (2,465 meters) above sea level.

Phivolcs’ continuous monitoring of the volcano detected 43 volcanic earthquakes in the 24 hours leading up to the eruption.

This seismic activity with the ash plume and sulfuric emissions prompted the agency to raise the alert level from 1 to 2.

The Philippines experiences volcanic eruptions and earthquakes due to its geologically active location. The most powerful volcanic eruption in recent years was the 1991 explosion of Mount Pinatubo, which killed more than 800 people and had a lasting impact on the region.

Misinformation also spread on social media. A video purporting to show the recent eruption of Mount Kanlaon was widely shared but was later debunked as footage from a 2018 eruption of Indonesia’s Anak Krakatau volcano.

Phivolcs confirmed that the video did not match official records of the Kanlaon Volcano eruption. The agency addressed the importance of verifying information and relying on official sources for accurate updates.

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