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Report on Bulusan (Philippines) — July 1980


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 5, no. 7 (July 1980)
Managing Editor: David Squires.

Bulusan (Philippines) Ash eruption and earthquake swarm

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1980. Report on Bulusan (Philippines) (Squires, D., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 5:7. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198007-273010



12.769°N, 124.056°E; summit elev. 1535 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

An earthquake swarm began on 6 July, when 108 volcanic events were recorded in a 24-hour period. Six events were felt at intensities of I-IV on the MRF scale and were accompanied by rumbling. Seismicity peaked on 10 July with 189 recorded shocks, ten felt at intensities I-IV. The swarm declined gradually after the 10th.

On 19 July, ash-rich steam clouds rose about 6 km above the summit. About 3 mm of ash fell on villages to the SE. Seismicity increased again on 22 July, with 235 volcanic earthquakes recorded in 24 hours. Ten were felt at intensities up to IV. AFP reported a 24 July COMVOL announcement that persons living within 4 km of Bulusan had been instructed to evacuate because of the earthquakes. On 27 July, 323 events were recorded and eleven felt, again at intensities of as much as IV. The swarm was continuing as of 29 July.

Geological Summary. Luzon's southernmost volcano, Bulusan, was constructed along the rim of the 11-km-diameter dacitic-to-rhyolitic Irosin caldera, which was formed about 36,000 years ago. It lies at the SE end of the Bicol volcanic arc occupying the peninsula of the same name that forms the elongated SE tip of Luzon. A broad, flat moat is located below the topographically prominent SW rim of Irosin caldera; the NE rim is buried by the andesitic complex. Bulusan is flanked by several other large intracaldera lava domes and cones, including the prominent Mount Jormajan lava dome on the SW flank and Sharp Peak to the NE. The summit is unvegetated and contains a 300-m-wide, 50-m-deep crater. Three small craters are located on the SE flank. Many moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the mid-19th century.

Information Contacts: O. Peña, COMVOL, Quezon City; AFP.