A weak explosion was detected at Mount Pinatubo in Central Luzon on Tuesday.
METRO MANILA, Philippines — The eruption was confirmed as phreatic or steam-driven explosion by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
“Based on visual reports of an eruption plume and seismic, infrasound and satellite detection, DOST-Phivolcs confirms that a phreatic eruption occurred at Pinatubo Crater between 12:09 and 12:13 p.m.,” the agency said in an update posted on social media.
Phivolcs earlier said that they were assessing the recorded explosion, which produced a plume, to determine its source. The agency explained that the weak explosion was likely driven by shallow hydrothermal processes beneath the edifice as there has only been very low seismic activity in the past days.
The Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake yields low diffused volcanic carbon dioxide flux at only 257 tonnes per day. There has been no report of ashfall from the event.
However, Phivolcs warned the public not to go anywhere near the volcano and urged the local government to prevent entry as “shallow phreatic or hydrothermal explosions such as the event of today can occur without warning.”
“Communities and local government units surrounding Pinatubo are reminded to be always prepared for both earthquake and volcanic hazards and to review, prepare and strengthen their contingency, emergency, and other disaster preparedness plans,” Phivolcs said.
Mount Pinatubo has been under Alert Level 0, the lowest alert level, since 12 August of this year. It last erupted on 15 June 1991, and was considered the second-largest eruption of the 20th century as it reportedly killed over 800 people, according to the US Geological Survey. (JE/The MiNT)
Featured image: The Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake has been an attraction for trekkers and adventurers. With the recent seismic activities, the public is advised for disaster preparedness as both earthquake and volcanic hazards may ensue.