Negros Occidental

La Castellana mayor urges national gov’t to help in relocating Mount Kanlaon danger zone residents

Reymund Titong

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La Castellana mayor urges national gov’t to help in relocating Mount Kanlaon danger zone residents

DISPLACED. La Castelllana town holds a short program on Thursday, June 20, before hundreds of displaced residents were given the green light to go home.

Photo by La Castelllana LGU

La Castellana Mayor Rhummyla Mangilimutan's call for help comes after the Office of the Civil Defense in Western Visayas prohibited residents from returning to homes within Kanlaon's danger zones

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines – La Castellana Mayor Rhummyla Mangilimutan urged the national government to intervene in the relocation of individuals residing within Mount Kanlaon’s four-kilometer permanent danger zone. 

Mangilimutan said approximately 100 households were in the risk zone. The town’s limited resources, meanwhile, make it impossible to address issues promptly.  She appealed to the national government to assist them in finding permanent relocation sites for residents prohibited from returning to their homes within the range of the danger zone prescribed by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs). 

Mangilimutan’s call for help comes after the Office of the Civil Defense in Western Visayas prohibited residents from returning to homes within Kanlaon’s danger zones

Based on the assessment of the OCD-6, the volcano’s danger zone includes a portion of La Carlota town, the City of Bago, and the municipalities of Murcia and La Castellana in Negros Occidental and the City of Canlaon in Negros Oriental.

Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office head John de Asis said around 1,815 evacuees were given the green light to go home since Thursday, June 20, leaving less than a thousand in three evacuation centers. 

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has distributed a total of P26.02 million worth of assistance to all the affected families, including P15.98 million of financial aid to more than 8,000 families and P4.7 million worth of food packs to more than 1500 beneficiaries. 

As of June 23, Kanlaon volcano remains at alert level 2 with three recorded volcanic quakes, emitting 3,431 tons of sulfur dioxide.

It can be recalled that the Kanlaon’s eruption on June 3 was phreatic in nature, which emitted a voluminous and incandescent plume that rapidly rose to 5,000 meters or 5 kilometers.

The eruption did not just displace thousands of people, but also affected hectares of agricultural land, led to the contamination of food and water sources, and crippled operations of known tourism destinations.

Negros Occidental Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) chief Joan Nathaniel Gerangay earlier said they hoped for a torrential downpour to rid the water sources of sulfur contamination, making it safer for human consumption.

Various groups have donated food and non-food goods to affected families in the town, including the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) and the Negros Economic Development Foundation (NEDF).

MBCCI and NEDF launched their Opland Tabang to help families and individuals affected by the calamity. They distributed food, clothing, linens, and hygiene kits to evacuees at St. Vincent’s High School and La Castellana Senior High School. – Rappler.com

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