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Mt. Bulusan major ash explosion forces evacuation

Posted by feww on February 21, 2011

Mt. Bulusan massive ash explosion covers 3 cities, 41 villages

Philippines Mt Bulusan volcano erupted again Monday at 01:12UTC showering at least three towns with large quantities of ash.


The ash explosion as seen from the town of Irosin, about 600km SE of Manila, Philippines. Bulusan Volcano is located in Sorsogon province in Bicol region. Credit AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

A massive ash plume from the 1,560-m volcano drifted south covering the town of Irosin (population: 46,000), according to a civil defense operations official.

“There’s zero visibility at Irosin at the moment, and we can’t get in touch with officials there,” he told AFP.

A state volcanologist told AFP that explosion sounds were followed by an ash column that rose by up to  2.5km (1.6 miles) above the crater.


Map of the Philippines Volcanoes. Click image to enlarge.

“The huge plume of grayish smoke shot up to more than a mile (2 kilometers) toward the blue sky, with the ash drifting southwest toward four farming towns in Sorsogon province, where about 1,200 villagers fled to emergency shelters and houses of relatives, said Benito Ramos, who heads the government’s disaster-response agency.” AP reported.

“Volcanic ash has fallen in the towns of Casiguran and Juban, located at the foot of the volcano. Philippine troops will be evacuating some 1,000 residents from these two towns,” Xinhua quoted an official as saying.

The explosion at Bulusan volcano lasted for 19 minutes, starting at 09:12 local time (01:12UTC) and has since affected at least 100,000 people in 3 towns and 41 villages in the surrounding areas, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council said.

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