Mount Bulusan: Philippines volcano spews ash and steam – where is it and what is the new alert level?

Mount Bulusan – one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines - erupted at 10:37am PST (or 3:37am GMT) in the morning on Sunday 5 June

<p>Mount Bulusan, days after a previous eruption in November 2010 (Credit: Charism Sayat/AFP via Getty Images)</p>

Mount Bulusan, days after a previous eruption in November 2010 (Credit: Charism Sayat/AFP via Getty Images)

Mount Bulusan, an active volcano south-east of the Philippines capital, spewed ash and steam half a mile into the air during a brief explosion in the early hours of the morning on Sunday 5 June.

The blast lasted for 17 minutes, and the government volcanology institute has asked people to stay away from a 4km danger zone around the volcano.

Here is everything you need to know about the brief Mount Bulusan eruption.

What happened at Mount Bulusan?

Mount Bulusan, days after a previous eruption in November 2010 (Credit: Charism Sayat/AFP via Getty Images)

Mount Bulusan – one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines – erupted for 17 minutes on Sunday morning. The eruption occurred at 10:37am PST (or 3:37am GMT) in the morning on Sunday 5 June.

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It was a steam driven or phreatic explosion, which means that the water underneath the volcano was heated by magma, lava, or hot rocks, and that this then caused the eruption.

Ash was scattered in at least seven surrounding villages. The coastal town of Juban, which is at the foot of Mount Bulusan, was particularly hit, and as a result residents have been asked to stay indoors and wear masks.

Government officials have advised motorists to drive cautiously, and are said to be assessing whether there is a need to evacuate residents (in particular pregnant people, the elderly, and young children).

Where is Mount Bulusan?

Mount Bulusan is south-east of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. It’s in the Sorsogon province, and is near to the coastal town Juban.

There is a 4km (or 2.4 mile) danger zone permanently established around the volcano.

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Where did the eruption hit?

Ash was scattered in at least seven surrounding villages. The coastal town of Juban, which is at the foot of Mount Bulusan, was particularly hit.

The surrounding skies were turned grey as a result of ash in the atmosphere.

What is the new alert level?

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology – also known as Phivolcs – have said that Mount Bulusan is currently in an “abnormal condition”.

They have raised the alert level from 0 to 1, which means there is a low level of volcanic unrest. The scale goes up to 5.

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Mount Bulusan last erupted in June 2017, five years ago. Phreatic steam driven explosions are typical of Mount Bulusan.

Is there going to be another eruption?

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology have said that there is no sign of an impending major eruption.

How many volcanoes are there in the Philippines?

There are 24 active volcanoes in the Philippines – the country is positioned on the Pacific Ocean’s “ring of fire”, which means that volcanic activity and earthquakes are particularly common there.

77 volcanic earthquakes were recorded in the 24 hours leading up to the Mount Bulusan eruption.