Two towns brace for possible Kanlaon eruption

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – The local governments of La Castellana and Moises Padilla in Negros Occidental have come up with contingency measures in preparation for the possible eruption of Kanlaon volcano.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) earlier reported that active volcanoes Bulusan and Kanlaon are being monitored as both continue to show signs of unrest.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary and Phivolcs Officer-in-Charge Dr. Renato Solidum last week warned of a possible steam-driven eruption in Kanlaon, adding that the increase in the volcano’s activities is not related to the rise of magma.

Solidum added that they are not expecting an “explosive” eruption in Kanlaon.

Moises Padilla Mayor Ella Celestina D. Garcia-Yulo said all contingency measures are in place.

She added though that everything depends on the level of eruption or activity.

The municipal government of La Castellana has identified five evacuation sites as contingency measures.

Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (DRRMO) local head John de Asis said that four of the designated evacuation centers are public schools, while the fifth is in Barangay Talaptap.

De Asis said they have reviewed their disaster preparedness and response plans in case the situation worsens.

At least five barangays were identified to be directly affected in case the volcano’s alert level goes up.

He also said that the municipal government is continually monitoring the volcano’s situation and advised their residents to always monitor the Arangka La Castellana social media page for updates.

As of July 11, 2022, the Kanlaon volcano bulletin posted by DOST-Phivolcs indicated that the volcano registered four volcanic earthquakes and the sulfur dioxide flux reached 151 tons per day since the month of May 2022.

The volcano’s plume reached 300 meters tall with moderate emission southwest and northwest drift.

It also noted that the volcano edifice has slightly inflated.

Entry to the four kilometer Permanent Danger Zone and flying of any aircraft close to the volcano are not allowed.