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Kanlaon Volcano Erupts, 29 domestic flights canceled

Kanlaon Volcano in Negros Erupts, 29 domestic flights canceled

MANILA, Philippines – An intense eruption at Kanlaon Volcano on Negros Island on Monday evening has led state volcanologists to raise the alert level, signaling potential further activity.

In a bulletin issued at 8 p.m. on Monday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) detailed the events of the eruption that began at 6:51 p.m. and lasted for six minutes. The eruption generated a massive, glowing plume that soared 5,000 meters into the air.

Phivolcs also reported the occurrence of probable short pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) traveling 2 to 3 kilometers down the volcano’s southern and southeastern slopes. These PDCs consist of a mixture of volcanic ash, gas, and rock fragments that move at high velocities.

Preceding the eruption, a “relatively strong volcano-tectonic earthquake” was observed, heightening concerns among scientists.

The volcano is now under Alert Level 2, which indicates “increasing unrest” driven by shallow magmatic processes. Phivolcs has warned that this could potentially lead to more explosive eruptions or even a hazardous magmatic event.

Communities on Kanlaon’s western slopes have already reported coarse ashfall and sulfurous odors, prompting health advisories from Phivolcs. Residents in affected areas are urged to protect themselves by covering their nose and mouth with a damp, clean cloth or dust mask.

A 4-kilometer-radius permanent danger zone around the volcano remains off-limits to the public for safety reasons.

In response to the eruption, Canlaon City Mayor Jose Chubasco Cardenas has ordered the evacuation of residents from four barangays: Masulog, Malaiba, Lumapao, and Pula.

Kanlaon had been at Alert Level 1 since March 11, 2020. Phivolcs noted that the volcano has exhibited “above background earthquake activity for the past month,” with sulfur dioxide emissions averaging around 1,273 tons per day in 2024.

About 29 flights from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport have been canceled due to the eruption of the Kanlaon Volcano in Negros Island, the Manila International Airport Authority reported Tuesday.

The flights are:

Cebu Pacific (5J)
5J 473/474 Manila-Bacolod-Manila
5J 451/452 Manila-Iloilo-Manila
5J 453/454 Manila-Iloilo-Manila
5J 476 Bacolod-Manila
5J 464 Iloilo-Manila
5J 454 Iloilo-Manila

AirAsia (Z2)
Z2 761/762 Manila-Cebu-Manila
Z2 603/604 Manila-Bacolod-Manila
Z2 306/307 Manila-Iloilo-Manila

PAL Express (2P)
2P 2841/2842 Manila-Cebu-Manila
2P 2139/2140 Manila-Iloilo-Manila
2P 2129/2130 Manila-Bacolod-Manila
2P 2131/2132 Manila-Bacolod-Manila
2P 2141/2142 Manila-Iloilo-Manila
2P 2905/2906 Manila-San Jose, Antique-Manila
2P 2835 Manila-Cebu
2P 2836 Cebu-Manila

On Monday night, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised the alert level of Mt. Kanlaon from Level 1 to Level 2 due to an explosive eruption that lasted 6 minutes.

The last recorded eruption of Kanlaon was a phreatic, or steam-driven, event on December 20, 2017. At that time, the volcano was also under Alert Level 2.

Kanlaon is one of roughly two dozen active volcanoes in the Philippines. Currently, it is the only volcano at Alert Level 2. Other active volcanoes, including Mayon in Albay, Bulusan in Sorsogon, and Taal in Batangas, are all at Alert Level 1.

As authorities and residents brace for potential further activity, vigilance and preparedness remain crucial.