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Climbers caught in Kanlaon unrest safe, say execs

By: - Correspondent / @carlagomezINQ
/ 12:35 AM November 26, 2015
MT. KANLAON spewing ash early morning of Nov. 24. Trekking on Kanlaon has been banned since the volcano showed signs of unrest.  CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MT. KANLAON spewing ash early morning of Nov. 24. Trekking on Kanlaon has been banned since the volcano showed signs of unrest. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

BACOLOD CITY—The Polish expert climber and her guide returned safely on Wednesday from their trek up restive Mt. Kanlaon Volcano that had been spewing ash and steam since Monday.

Anna Hodson, 43 and trained guide, Balmerie Villar, arrived at the Mambukal Resort in Murcia town past 1 p.m., said Noel Macado, deputy superintendent of the Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park Protected Area.

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Hodson and Villar were the second group that climbed down from Mt. Kanlaon since Monday when it started to become restive.

A group of 10 climbers and two guides also returned to safety before Mt. Kanlaon’s steam explosion on Monday night.

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Mark Mangat, 27, an engineering student, said they began their trek up Mt. Kanlaon around 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and reached the volcano’s saddle at 4 p.m. half an hour away from the crater.

They resumed their trek to the summit on Sunday but they could smell sulfur. Their guides told them they could stay only 5 to 10 minutes near the crater for photos, he said.

Mangat said they were supposed to climb down at 1 p.m. on Monday but their guide sensed something amiss and decided to head back earlier at 7:30 a.m.

 

Trekking banned

Mt. Kanlaon, which straddles the provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, is an active volcano but remains a favorite spot for climbers.

With its peaks rising 2,465 meters above sea level, the volcano is a centerpiece of

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Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park, a national park at least 30 kilometers from this city.

Trekking has been banned on Kanlaon since Tuesday as the volcano remains restive.

Kanlaon’s seismic monitoring system recorded 11 volcanic earthquakes during the past 24 hours, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

There was moderate emission of dirty white steam and ash plumes that rose to 150 meters above the summit crater.

Alert Level 1 still prevails over Kanlaon, which means it is still in a period of unrest, the Phivolcs said.

Local government units and the public are reminded that entry into the 4-km radius Permanent Danger Zone is prohibited.

Civil aviation authorities had also advised pilots to steer clear of the volcano’s vicinity.

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