Sep 232014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/03/06MANILA1376.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA1376 2006-03-24 08:48 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO0513
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #1376 0830848
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 240848Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0180
INFO RUEHZS/ASEAN COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS MANILA 001376

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EINV CACS EAGR SENV RP
SUBJECT: VOLCANIC ERUPTION POSES NO THREAT

¶1. On March 21, Mount Bulusan, 370 miles southeast of
Manila, experienced a moderate eruption. The area around
the volcano is uninhabited, and the situation appears to
pose no immediate danger to life or property. Sorsogon
Province is mainly agricultural and rural with a population
of 650,000. Post contacted the Philippine Institute of
Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), and Director Renato
Solidum told econoff that he is still detecting ongoing
moderate seismic activity, which he expects will continue
for several weeks; he added that not one of the 15 eruptions
over the last 150 years resulted in a major event. The GRP
warned residents to avoid entering the four-kilometer zone
that surrounds the volcano.

¶2. Post’s American Citizen Services (ACS) section has been
following the situation since the volcano’s initial eruption
at 22:58 hours, March 21 (local time). There are 144
American citizens registered as residents in Sorsogon
province and only one is reported to be living in the town
of Bulusan, about 10 miles from Mount Bulusan itself. A few
Amcits live in neighboring towns, but the majority live in
cities far north of the volcano. ACS is attempting to
contact the one 87-year old Amcit Bulusan resident, as well
as Amcits in surrounding towns. The Peace Corps’ only
volunteer in Sorsogon province lives far from the volcano.
(Peace Corps sent out an internal warden message on March 23
advising volunteers to avoid the danger zone and to defer
unnecessary travel within the vicinity.) We contacted the
American Chamber of Commerce and the GRP Board of
Investments; both confirm that there are no known U.S.
businesses in the area. Embassy continues to monitor the
situation, but does not expect American citizens will be
affected.

¶3. Encompassing a little over 1500 square miles, Sorsogon
Province forms the southeastern tip of Luzon’s Bicol
Peninsula and includes 15 municipalities and one city with a
total population of 650,000, according to a 2000 census.
Primary economic activities are agriculture, forestry, and
fishing. If volcanic activity escalates, PHIVOLCS may
recommend evacuation within an eight to ten kilometer
radius, an historically safe distance, according to Dr.
Solidum. The Philippines’ last major volcanic activity was
in 2001 when the Mayon volcano erupted near Legaspi City in
neighboring Albay province. During that eruption, PHIVOLCS
helped to manage the phased evacuations of 50,000 to 60,000
people, with no deaths. Solidum attributed the safety
record to the Institute’s monitoring and forecasting.
PHIVOLCS will continue to monitor Bulusan and take any
necessary measures to ensure the safety of residents.

KENNEY

   

 

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