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Mount Kanlaon enters ‘period of unrest’

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As if Taal Volcano and COVID-19 aren’t enough, Mount Kanlaon in Negros Occidental province is somehow trying to compete for the ‘newsmaker of the year’ for 2020.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has recorded 136 volcano-tectonic earthquakes—earthquakes caused by the movement of magma beneath the surface of the Earth—on the western flanks during the 24-hour observation period on Mount Kanlaon since Sunday.

Phivolcs reminded the public that Mount Kanlaon remains on alert level 1, “which means that it is at an abnormal condition and has entered a period of unrest”.

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“The local government units and the public are strongly reminded that entry into the 4-km radius permanent danger zone must be strictly prohibited due to the further possibilities of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or phreatic eruptions,” the institute warned.

“Phivolcs would like to assure the public especially the local communities in Negros Island that we are keeping a close watch and shall inform all concerned of any further developments,” the institute said in a statement.

On March 11, Phivolcs raised the alert level over Mount Kanlaon.

Mount Kanlaon is the highest point in Negros Island, as well as the whole Visayas region, with an elevation of 2,465 metres above sea level.

Last January 12, Taal volcano in Batangas province, south of Manila, erupted, displacing thousands of residents in the province and nearby provinces.

As an active earthquake zone, the Philippines has frequent seismic activity due to its location along the Pacific “Ring of Fire”.

The Philippine archipelago has at least 24 active volcanoes.

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