Mt. Bulusan eruption, DILG to affected towns: Be prepared

A February 21, 2011 press release by the Department of the Interior and Local Government

Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo on Monday urged the provincial government and affected towns of the province of Sorsogon to be prepared for any eventuality as the restive Mt. Bulusan reportedly spewed a three kilometer-ash column this morning.

Robredo said affected municipalities, particularly the town of Irosin, should immediately activate their respective local disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) councils to formulate concrete plans of action in case of a devastating eruption from the active volcano.

“While reports indicate that there are no signs of another pending eruption, we should still be prepared,” he said.

“Our main concern here are the safety of the residents. We should ensure that all the necessary systems are in place to prevent unnecessary loss of lives,” added Robredo.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported that much of the ash from the eruption at 9:12 this morning drifted over the town of Irosin in the southwest of the volcano.

The volcano’s status remains at Alert Level 1 which means that the source of activity is hydrothermal and shallow.

Robredo also directed DILG regional and field officials to extend the necessary assistance and support to the affected towns in the formulation of a responsive and doable contingency plan, and to assist them for the possible use of their calamity funds.

He also advised residents to keep out of the designated four-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone due to the danger posed by sudden ash explosions.

Located about 249 kilometers southeast of Manila, Bulusan is among the 23 active volcanoes in the country.

It has been spewing ash and steam over several days since November.