It’s business as usual in Negros Oriental city as restive volcano looms large
DUMAGUETE CITY—Although restive Kanlaon Volcano loomed large, business and government operations in the city of Canlaon, Negros Oriental went on as usual on Wednesday (June 24).
Canlaon City Mayor Jose Chubasco “Batchuk” Cardenas said there was nothing to worry about the volcano’s restiveness and people should stay calm.
“There’s nothing to worry because as of now we’re on Alert Level 1,” he told the INQUIRER over the phone.
In an advisory, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said it recorded 38 more volcano-tectonic earthquakes in the past 24 hours with a 3.6 magnitude tremor felt in the La Carlota City, Negros Occidental at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday (June 23).
Cardenas, citing local volcanologists, said the volcano was still “normal” as the steam it was puffing out was white, not gray, in color.
He said, however, that the local government has prepared contingency plans for residents in case of an eruption.
Cardenas called a meeting with the local disaster risk reduction and management office on Tuesday to prepare plans and strategies.
Authorities in Canlaon City have identified four villages that would be too close for comfort to the volcano in case of an eruption—Masulog, Linothangan, Pula and Malaiba. Some of these villages are inside the volcano’s 4-kilometer radius danger zone.
The local government has prepared at least 20,000 face masks for distribution to residents of these villages should the volcano erupt, the mayor said.
Cardenas also ordered the city social welfare and development office (CSWDO) to prepare food packs and relief goods.
He said that an evacuation plan is in place for people who are on quarantine in a school at the village of Masulog for observation if they were infected with SARS Cov2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
“We make sure that we stay composed,” said Cardenas.
He said local officials should be focused on preparations for the eruption “without sacrificing COVID-19 protocols.”
Mount Kanlaon is the highest point in Negros Island and in the Visayas, and sits between the two Negros provinces—Oriental and Occidental.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.