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Lake discoloration, quakes cause deep concern

SAN JUAN, Southern Leyte – A letter to investigate the discoloration of Lake Danao in Mount Cabalian was sent last month to the Department of Science and Technology Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-PHIVOLCS) by San Juan Mayor Reynaldo D. Saludo.
In response to the query, DOST-PHIVOLCS Director Teresito C. Bacolcol said that investigation team leader Dr. Raymond Maximo, who coordinated with San Juan/Cabalian Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO), said that there was no discoloration in Lake Danao.
However, Bacolcol said that discoloration or color changes of the water may be “due to algal bloom caused by change in seasonal temperatures, or overturning of cold water at the bottom flows to the top and warm water on top sinks to the bottom.”
Geologists from DOST-PHIVOLCS said that this should not cause alarm unless this is accompanied by the “phenomena related to volcanism; frequent volcanic earthquakes within the volcanic edifice particularly perceptible ones, rumbling sounds from the volcano, degassing – that is, smoke/steaming coming out of the crater, a sudden increase in lake temperatures and fish kill.”
Director Bacolcol also said that the tremors are felt in Southern Leyte, particularly St. Bernard and Libagon area, because the province is part of the Philippine Fault Line. Sogod Liloan and San Ricardo are also towns that sit on the fault line.
DOST-PHIVOLCS explained that further investigation into the reported discoloration is not yet needed.
Cabalian Volcano is one of the twenty-four active volcanoes in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Mayon and Taal volcanoes in Luzon, and Mt. Kanlaon on Negros Island are currently the places where flying over them is prohibited due to the risk of volcanic activity, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP)
Earthquake jolts have also been observed in Camarines Sur, and Quezon province.

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