On Sunday, the explosive eruption at Bulusan Volcano lasted for 17 minutes. It was enough to cause a gray plume of at least one kilometer to be sent over the rural area of Sorsogon in the Philippines and to trigger evacuations.
Two towns were affected by the ash, located about 500 km south of Manila. However, no injuries were reported immediately, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. They caused some areas to be completely dark and firefighters were called in to help.
The authorities responded by raising the alert level from 1 to 5, indicating "low intensity unrest". They warned about possible new eruptions.
Manila airport authorities said that no flights were affected by the eruption so far. However, pilots were warned to avoid the volcano area. Residents were reminded by the Philippine authorities that they are prohibited from entering the area within four kilometers of the volcano. They also advised those living near the volcano to be careful "due to the increased possibility of sudden and deadly eruptions".
Residents living near rivers and valleys were reminded to be aware of mudslides during heavy rains.
Recent activity at Bulusan Volcano was quite evident, with several similar eruptions in 2016 and 2017. The Philippines is also situated in the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire and has more than 20 active volcanic peaks.