Sorsogon airspace off limits to planes

THE National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) yesterday ordered the shutting down of airspace in Sorsogon province as Mt. Bulusan continues to exhibits signs of restiveness.

The NDRRMC recommended the closure of airspace after experts from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) detected eight volcanic earthquakes in the past 24 hours.

“Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ejected ash and volcanic fragments from sudden explosions may pose hazzards to aircraft,” the DRRMC said in its latest advisory.

The NDRRMC said Phivolcs experts expect more explosions to occur in view of the volcano’s recent reactivation.

They noted, however, that the volcano typically spews ashes whenever it is restive.

“Hence, alert level 1 is reiterated to reflect the present activity at Bulusan. Areas within four kilometers of the (volcano’s) summit have been designated as permanent danger zone (PDZ),” the NDRRMC update said.

Aside from warning aviators from flying within the Bulusan’s PDZ, the NDRMMC also advised residents to be vigilant against sediment-laden stream flows in the event of heavy and continuous rainfall.

“Due to prevailing wind, residents located northwest and southwest sectors of the volcano are advised to take precaution against ash falls,’ the NDRRMC said.

It added: “The public are strongly advised not to venture inside this area because it might be affected by sudden steam explosion.”

Police and military forces in Sorsogon have been placed on their highest alert since the volcano started showing signs of activity. Anthony Vargas


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