Kanlaon sulfur emission increases; It smells like rotten eggs – mayor  

Kanlaon Volcano after its moderately  explosive eruption on June 3.*Romeo Subaldo photo 

Kanlaon Volcano is emitting heavy sulfurous odor that smells similar to rotten eggs. 

Residents in some villages close to Kanlaon Volcano reported the strong odor late Saturday, La Castellana Mayor Rhummyla Nicor Mangilimutan said on Sunday, June 9. 

About 4,000 La Castellana residents are in evacuation centers with another Kanlaon Volcano eruption still possible. 

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs)  at 9:30 p.m. Saturday issued  a notice of elevated volcanic sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas emission from the summit crater of Kanlaon based on its campaign Flyspec measurements at 4,397 tons.  

This is the highest emission this year measured by campaign survey and the second highest land-based measurement for Kanlaon, it said. 

The volcano has been degassing increased concentrations of volcanic SO2 this year at an average rate of 1,458 tons as day, but emission since its   June 3 eruption has been particularly elevated at a current average of 3,347 tons a day, it added. 

Above background volcanic earthquakes have also persisted at an average of 33 events a day since the eruption, Phivolcs added. 

Ground deformation data from continuous GPS and electronic tilt measurements have been recording medium-term inflation of the Kanlaon edifice since March 2022 and a shorter-term inflation of the eastern flank since 2023, indicating slow pressurization within the volcano, it said.  

“The overall monitoring parameters indicate that degassing of magma may be driving current unrest, causing increased volcanic gas emission, swelling of the edifice and occasional volcanic earthquake activity,” Phivolcs said. 

This indicates that the level of activities at the volcano remain high and that an eruption is still possible, Mari Andylene Quintia, resident volcanologist at the Kanlaon Volcano Observatory, said Sunday. 

Phivolcs said the public is reminded that Alert Level 2 prevails over Kanlaon.  

This means that there is current unrest driven by shallow magmatic processes that could eventually lead to explosive eruptions at the summit crater, Phivolcs said in its advisory on Saturday. 

The public is strongly advised to be vigilant and avoid the four kilometer-radius Permanent Danger Zone to minimize risks from volcanic hazards such as pyroclastic density currents, ballistic projectiles, rockfall and others, it said. 

 In case of ash fall events that may affect communities downwind of Kanlaon’s crater, people should cover their nose and mouth with a damp, clean cloth or dust mask, it added. 

Civil aviation authorities must also advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ash and ballistic fragments from sudden eruption can be hazardous to aircraft, Phivolcs also said. 

Communities living beside river systems on the southern and western slopes of the volcano, especially those that have already experienced lahars and muddy streamflows, are advised to take precautionary measures when heavy rainfall over the volcano has been forecast or has begun, it said. 

Heavy rains  brought greyish flood waters that caused more residents of a barangay in La Castellana to evacuate Friday night. 

The   greyish flood water believed to contain ash and debris from the Kanlaon Volcano eruption flowed down to the lower section of Barangay  Sag-ang Friday prompting residents to evacuate, Mangilimutan said on Saturday. 

La Carlota City Mayor Rex Jalandoon said grey colored flood water was also seen at the Araal falls in his town Friday. 

But as the rains continue, the water is becoming clearer, he said. 

“Perhaps the ash from the volcano is being washed out by the rain,” he said.*  

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