Kanlaon ashfall may have affected 23,000 hectares of cane land: SRA  

Administrator Pablo Luis Azcona convened the SRA ad hoc committee for disaster related incidents in Bacolod City on Tuesday, June 4, after Kanlaon Volcano’s eruption.*SRA photo

About 23,000 hectares in four mill  districts of Negros  may have been affected  by Kanlaon Volcano’s  eruption, the Sugar Regulatory Administration  (SRA) reported on Tuesday, June 4. 

SRA Administrator Pablo Luis Azcona said that he ordered the research and development arm of the agency to prioritize sampling of sugar canes and sugar hit by ashfall from the volcano.

Azcona said they will need information on the acidity level of the soil as well as its effects on sugarcane already planted in areas where volcanic ashfall was noted.

“We gathered reports from the field of the strong sulfur smell coupled with the heavy rains in most areas in Central Negros and we know that this can turn into sulfuric acid which may affect our sugar canes,” Azcona said. 

The testing will include scraping ash from cane leaves and collection from surface grounds in the municipality of La Castellana, Moises Padilla, Pontevedra and La Carlota City where volcanic ash turned some fields into gray, he said.  

Azcona said they received reports that some farmers took advantage of the heavy rains following the eruption to plant canes yesterday, and asked their research department to immediately release results of the test.  

“We are hoping that the rains washed out the volcanic ash from planted canes,” he added. 

The general condition of our sugar cane fields is already acidic and we just want to rule out more acidity in affected areas that can cause problems, he said.  

Azcona also ordered the release of P2 million for mitigating measures to aid affected localities and another P500,000 for medical missions that will address respiratory diseases related to the incident if need be.* 

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