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A Strong Pinatubo Eruption is Unlikely Anytime Soon, Phivolcs Says

While it spewed gas, there is no magmatic or molten rock activity.
by Pia Regalado
A day ago
FILE PHOTO: Mount Pinatubo on June 12, 1991, three days before it exploded in the second-largest volcanic eruption in the 20th century.
Photo/s: USGS

Mount Pinatubo, responsible for the world's worst volcanic event in the 20th century, is unlikely to figure in a strong eruption anytime soon due to a lack of magmatic activity or movement of molten rocks beneath the Earth's surface, Phivolcs said Wednesday.

Pinatubo, located in Pampanga province, belched steam and gas in a weak phreatic eruption at noon Tuesday, striking worry among those who have memories of its 1991 eruption that cooled the planet, blanketed entire provinces in ash and made lahar or mudflow a persistent threat in Central Luzon for years.

"Ang history sa Pinatubo, 'yung talagang malalakas na eruption ay marami ang nilalabas so talagang ang scenario na ganun ay puwedeng maulit ulit pero not soon," he told TeleRadyo.

The volcanic unrest before the 1991 eruption was detected months before the actual eruption, starting with a series of weak steam explosions, according to USGS.

"Kung talagang sasabog muli ang Pinatubo, na sa geologic records ay mga centuries ang pagitan ng malalakas na eruption, 'yung magma kasi aakyat, isasambulat 'yan, magpipiraso, magiging abo, at 'yan ay siyempre inilabas, magdedeposito sa gilid ng bulkan, ayan po ang nagiging source ng lahar pero panibago pong activity na manggagaling sa ilalim. Pero sa kasalukuyan, wala pa po," Solidum said.

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Solidum reminded those living in the vicinity to stay away from the mountain. Volcanic steam is hazardous, he said.

"Kung wala naman talagang importanteng gagawin para pag-aralan 'yung nangyari sa bulkan tulad ng ginagawa ng Phivolcs ay marapat na huwag na muna pumunta sa kasalukuyan kasi delikado, baka maulit ulit ang hydrothermal explosion."

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