MANILA, Philippines – The ash explosions of Mount Bulusan on Tuesday afternoon scared off residents living at the foot of the volcano, forcing them to leave their homes, the military said.
1st Lt. Oliver dela Cruz of the Philippine Army’s 49th Infantry Battalion said that residents of Sitio Gimaloto, Barangay Ingladian in Casiguran town, which is within the 4-kilometer permanent danger zone of Bulusan, started evacuating 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Dela Cruz said that 24 families or at least 116 people fled to the nearby barangay of Escuala after the twin ash explosions.
The military officer, meanwhile, said that the residents have been allowed to return to their homes on Wednesday morning to attend to their farms.
He said the residents have asked local government authorities to be allowed to return to their homes during the day and come back to the evacuation center at night.
Dela Cruz said that Bulusan volcano has calmed down.
He said that at least 400 soldiers have been put on standby for a massive evacuation major in case of a major volcanic activity.
In a bulletin issued Wednesday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Bulusan volcano had 2 ash explosions on Tuesday, recorded at 3:30 p.m. and 3:43 p.m..
It said that the stream driven explosions produced grayish ash columns that reached heights of approximately 1,000 meters to 800 meters.
It said that ashfall affected barangays Cogon, Tinampo, Monbon and Bolos in Irosin town and Barangay Sangkayon in Juban town.