It’s bubbling in the east of the Philippines. A volcano has ejected a mile-high cloud of ash. The authorities urge caution.

The Bulusan volcano in the east of the Philippines ejected an ash column about a kilometer high on Sunday. In light of the mountain’s activity on the island of Luzon, authorities raised the alert level from zero to one, which equates to a low level of “restlessness.”

The State Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) also called on residents not to stay in the four-kilometer-wide permanent danger zone around the volcano in Sorsogon province – almost 400 kilometers southeast of the capital Manila. Initially, however, there were no evacuations, as the national civil protection authority announced.

Philippines part of the Pacific Ring of Fire

Despite the clouds, the column of ash could be seen from the nearby town of Juban, the Phivolcs bulletin said. Ashfall was reported in Juban and in the town of Casiguran. The Philippines are on what is known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. The 40,000-kilometer line runs along the west coast of South, Central and North America to the Aleutian Trench, via Kamchatka, Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia to New Zealand. It is considered one of the most active volcanic regions in the world.

Since two tectonic plates meet in many places along the Ring of Fire, earthquakes and seaquakes often occur in the regions, which can trigger tsunamis. In March, earthquakes shook parts of Indonesia and the Philippines. A few days later, the Taal volcano in the Philippines erupted fumes and gases. In 2020, an outbreak displaced more than 300,000 people after they lost their homes.

Bulusan is one of the 24 active volcanoes in the Philippines. It has erupted 15 times since 1885, most recently in June 2017. It is a popular tourist destination and known for its hot springs.

Sources: German Press Agency, “Earth and Environment Knowledge Platform”