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Volcanic activity in Bulusan causes the first P20M Agri damage.

The eruption of the Bulusan Volcano has so far impacted 2,683.40 hectares of agricultural land, resulting in output losses and damages of PHP20.2 million, according to the Office of Civil Defense-Bicol (OCD-5) on Monday.

In an interview, Jessar Adornado, OCD-5 assistant regional director, cited reports from the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Region 5 office, saying that losses totaling 824.16 metric tons (MT) of crops and other damages were recorded in three municipalities in Sorsogon, namely Casiguran, Juban, and Irosin.

“DA-5 is constantly monitoring and collaborating with Sorsogon and other affected municipalities’ provincial disaster risk reduction management. They also stated that Sorsogon City’s regional dairy production and technology center was originally designated as a key livestock evacuation site “Adornado remarked.

When asked about the interventions that the OCD is planning, he replied that the OCD-5 and the regional disaster risk reduction management council are now on blue alert, or ready to deploy the appropriate assets.

“Bulusan Volcano is now at Alert Level 1. If the status is raised to Alert Level 2 or 3, all assets of concerned agencies will be used to assist the province of Sorsogon, particularly the affected local government units, and we will conduct an aerial assessment of the Bulusan Volcano if the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) requests it “Adornado remarked.

Ashfall and pungent odor from the phreatic eruption of Bulusan Volcano affected 2,784 families or 13,920 people in the municipalities of Juban and Irosin, while 75 families or 278 people were evacuated to the Tughan evacuation center in Juban town.

“A recent ground deformation investigation of the Bulusan Volcano revealed that the structure of Mt. Bulusan is still swollen. Sudden steam or phreatic eruptions remain a possibility “Adornado remarked.

He also stated that entering the 4-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) and entering the Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) without vigilance, as well as flying any aircraft close to the volcano, is prohibited.

“Classes in four barangays significantly hit by ashfall in Juban, namely Bacolod, Anog, Buraburan, and Puting-Sapa, were also suspended,” he said.

While ashfalls have been observed on the key routes between Irosin and Juban, all roads are open and usable.

“Ashfall removal was done by the Bureau of Fire Protection for the protection of the motorists,” Adornado stated.

Phivolcs detected 29 volcanic quakes in the last 24 hours following the phreatic eruption of Mt. Bulusan on Sunday.

The eruption lasted 17 minutes and resulted in a 150-meter-high plume of massive emission that drifted northwest.

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