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PDRRM Officer Broderick G. Train (Right) conducting a visual assessment in the area. (Inset) Team Robjunlieana B. Lim (Left), Eric Lino P. Arconado (Center), and Elmer P. Relota (Right) discussing the different fault lines located in Panay.

SAN JOSE, Antique - The residents of Barangay Apdo, Hamtic, Antique were alarmed by the elevation of a portion of land and mass movement  in their vicinity adjacent to the hot spring located about 400 meters from the National Highway. This strange phenomenon was first seen by the community last April and was concerned of its association with volcanic activity.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office headed by Broderick G. Train conducted its initial assessment in the area last May 7. During their visual examination, it was observed that there is a land elevation made of silt and clay of about 2 meters and is gradually increasing to 6 meters the following month, the locals were advised to avoid going into the area until further studies are conducted.

On July 4, a team from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOLCS) Eric Lino P. Arconado, Volcanologist and Robjunlieana B. Lim, Geologist; Elmer P. Relota, Philvolcs Antique together with Abraham R. Fabila, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) VI Antique; Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) of Hamtic and local authorities visited the area to conduct further assessment. After the visual assessment of the team, Lim said that the sudden movement and elevation of land was due to its deep-seethed water deposit which pushed soft sediments upwards. Tests were also conducted on the adjacent hot spring to determine its acidity, its sulfuric content, and temperature. Test results show that it did not meet the parameters to be considered volcanic in nature but rather it came from the mineral deposits within the area which releases carbon dioxide and methane gas.

The PHILVOLCS team concluded that these events are non-volcanic of origin as well as the nature of the hot spring. No sulfuric contents were found in the water, temperatures and pH levels did not meet the parameters that indicate volcanic activity. The elevation and movement of land in the area were due to localized increase of groundwater, especially during rainy seasons.       

The results may not be as intimidating as the residents expected it to be but they are advised to designate restriction zones and avoid building of structures within the area.