Biak na Bato road passable but evacuation still urged 

The Barangay Biak na Bato  highway being cleared of lahar Thursday.*Romeo Subaldo photo  

The lahar surge in Barangay Biak na Bato, La Castellana, Negros Occidental, stopped on Thursday, June 6, but residents in danger zones were still being urged to evacuate. 

 The Biak na Bato highway was reopened to vehicles after it was cleared of lahar. 

About 500 Biak na Bato residents had evacuated as of Thursday afternoon, Barangay Captain Joselito Martinez said. 

The lahar that had reached up to chest level in some areas had entered into about 10 houses in the barangay on Wednesday, he said. 

“The volcano appears to have calmed down and there is less lahar flow”, he said.  

Biak na Bato resident Jennlyn Teng said the lahar that was up to her chest destroyed the goods in her store and the belongings in their home.  

Martinez said he instructed residents not to drink water from their usual water sources that are contaminated. 

La Castellana Mayor Rhummyla Nicor Mangilimutan said they are urging residents in critical areas of Biak na Bato to go to evacuation centers. 

La Castellana currently has three evacuation centers with 1,173 evacuees, she said. 

Even residents outside of the evacuation centers need help, Mangilimutan said. 

The estimated families affected by the eruption in her town are about 10,000 to 12,000, most of whom are farmers in upland barangays, she said. 

Their water sources have also been affected by the sulfur from the volcano, she said.  

They need water and food supplies, and medicine because there are residents who are coughing, suffering from asthma and whose eyes are hurting from the ash, the mayor said. 

The Bureau of Fire Protection and other local government units are helping them with their water supply, she said. 

The provincial government has also provided them with assistance, she added.* 

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