Alert level 1 up on Mt. Bulusan

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Mt. Bulusan in Sorsogon | FILE PHOTO

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 5) — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has raised alert level 1 over Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon due to an "increase in seismic activity."

This means the volcano is in an abnormal state and may cause "steam-driven eruptions" due to hydrothermal volcanic activity.

In an advisory, the Phivolcs said 16 volcanic earthquakes has been recorded from Saturday to Sunday morning.

The agency said there was also a "slight inflation" on the upper slopes of the volcano since April 29. It added that a "notable increase in water temperature" and "wipsy to weak emission of white steam plumes" were observed in the southeast vents.

With this, local government units and the public are discouraged from entering the volcano's four-kilometer radius permanent danger zone. The agency also urged residents from the extended danger zone, two kilometers further downslope of the permanent danger zone, to be vigilant due to possibilities of sudden and hazardous phreatic eruptions, rockfall, and landslide."

The Phivolcs also reminded civil aviation authorities to "advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano's summit as ash from any sudden phreatic eruption can be hazardous to aircraft."

"Furthermore, people living within valleys and along river/stream channels should be vigilant against sediment-laden stream flows and lahars in the event of heavy and prolonged rainfall," the agency said.

Bulusan, which is among the most active volcanoes in the Philippines, last erupted in June 2017.