448 families return after Kanlaon eruption

(From left to right) La Castellana councilor Anejo Nicor, DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos, Mayor Rhummyla Nicor-Mangilimutan, First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian, Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Benitez, and 5th District Rep. Dino Yulo. (Photo by Thomas T. Delociento/Facebook page)

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD CITY – Mayor Rhummyla Nicor-Mangilimutan of La Castellana, Negros Occidental announced that 448 families, out of more than a thousand who evacuated after Kanlaon volcano erupted, have returned to their homes.

Mangilimutan told Daily Guardian on Sunday that these families are from Barangay Mansalanao, who were the first to evacuate due to ashfall and lahar.

The mayor noted that while Kanlaon volcano seems calm, Alert Level II remains in place.

She also confirmed that First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos distributed relief assistance alongside Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rex Gatchalian, Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos, 5th District Rep. Dino Yulo; and League of Cities in the Philippines president, Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez.

Earlier, experts from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) cautioned the public to prepare for the worst during a briefing on Kanlaon volcano’s current situation with Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson at the provincial capitol.

DOST-PHIVOLCS Director Teresito Bacolcol and Chief Science Research Specialist Ma. Antonia Bornas, along with other personnel, updated the governor on Kanlaon volcano’s condition in the presence of the media.

“There is a high chance of a follow-up eruption because Kanlaon has shown significant activity in the past. It has had phreatic eruptions one after another, sometimes in a series. We hope for the best but prepare for the worst,” Bornas said.

Bornas also mentioned that a decrease in Kanlaon’s activities, such as volcanic quakes or sulfur dioxide emissions, is not an indication that it won’t erupt.

She compared it to the Taal volcano, which was quiet before it erupted.

“It’s like a lull before a storm,” Lacson quipped.

“At least we can prepare for Alert Level 3, especially since we have time; it’s a slow-brewing eruption if it happens,” Bornas added.