Prov’l Gov’t Puts Up Mt. Kanlaon Emergency Opns Center

To quickly respond to any eventuality, and be of ready assistance to Negrosanons living near Kanlaon Volcano which is on Alert Level 2, the Negros Occidental provincial government activated its Emergency Operations Center.

The center, now conducting round-the-clock monitoring of the activities of Mt. Kanlaon which is undergoing moderate level of unrest since Wednesday, is on 24/7 operation.

Zeaphard Gerhart Caelian, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Division, said the center is also being manned 24 hours a day.

Caelian said the province’s contingency plan for Mount Kanlaon is also in place.

Yesterday, the provincial government called for a Response Committee meeting to review the contingency plan and inform concerned national government agencies on the developments after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised the volcano’s status from Alert Level 1 to Alert Level 2, which means moderate level of unrest.

The meeting was also attended by officials of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Region 6 and representatives of the disaster risk reduction and management offices of local government units surrounding Mount Kanlaon.

Caelian said the public should be ready in case of evacuation especially those residing in danger zones.

“The public should be alert. I can’t say they should not be alarmed because there’s an alert level,” he said. Preparations should be coupled with prayers, he added.

Caelian said they have a list of “most probable areas” that would be affected by the volcanic eruption, based on the simulation they conducted.

He added that based on hazard maps, effects like lava flow, pyroclastic materials, and lahar would hit Negros Occidental

Seen to be directly affected are those under the four-kilometer permanent danger zone, including the cities of San Carlos, Bago, and La Carlota and the towns of Murcia, La Castellana, Moises Padilla and Salvador Benedicto.

Based on the pathway of lahar, localities that may be affected are the cities of San Carlos, Bago, La Carlota and Himamaylan and the towns of Pontevedra, Pulupandan, San Enrique, Valladolid, Hinigaran, Binalbagan, La Castellana, Moises Padilla and Isabela.

The effects could vary, depending on the scenario, Caelian said.*(Marchel Espina, PNA, w/ reports from NDB)