SORSOGON CITY – Members of Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council met up with the officials of the Provincial Government and Mayors of affected municipalities at Sorsogon today, 09 November 2010 at Provincial Action Center, Sorsogon City in connection with the recent abnormal activities of Mt Bulusan. The joint RDRRMC and PDRRMC conference was called upon by the Director Bernardo Alejandro IV, Chairman of RDRRMC in the region in order to map out contingency plans and initiate other activities required at Alert Level 1.
Ed Laguerta, the resident volcanologist of PHILVOCS in the region said that Mt Bulusan recent activities necessitate the increase of alert level from zero (0) to abnormal or alert level 1. Abnormal level, which is also defined as low level unrest is characterize by an increase in seismicity noted but levels are less than ten quakes per day. Slight increase in SO2 gas output is also noted but within 1,000 tonnes per day. Very faint glow of the crater may also occur but no conclusive evidence of magma ascent. Laguerta also said that eruption is not imminent, however hydrothermal, magmatic or tectonic disturbance will be noted. Hence, 4-km radius permanent danger zone should be strictly observe and enforce.
Director Alejandro presented a briefing on the protocols to be observed by all concerned. He emphasized that the local government of Sorsogon (PDRRMC) is the designated lead in the management of the disaster, however, he assures that the national government agencies will always be ready to assist and fill in the gaps at the local level in order to ensure that zero casualty will be attain should Mt Bulusan activities escalates.
The current alert level need not cause undue panic or alarm, however, it already calls for everyone to mobilize necessary actions and come up with appropriate plans based on accurate information, Alejandro said. Hence, number of families and population residing at the permanent danger zone down to extended areas must be validated as soon as possible. Contingency planning must also be done in a bottom-up approach in order to involve concern personalities at the community level, Alejandro added.