Digicast Negros

La Castellana danger zone evacuees increase, La Carlota folk go home

A La Castellana evacuation center.*Richard Malihan photo

About 3,300 La Castellana residents living in barangays within Kanlaon Volcano’s 4 to 6-kilometer permanent danger zone and in lahar flow pathways have been preemptively evacuated.

Evacuated were women, children and the elderly, La Castellana Mayor Rhummyla Nicor Mangilimutan said Friday, June 7.

The male family members remained in the villages to tend to their farm animals and crops, many of which have wilted from the ash fall.

The evacuees were from barangays Masulog, Biak na Bato, Cabagna-an, Mansalanao and Sag-ang.

The Office of Civil Defense has stressed that no one should be allowed to reside in the permanent danger zone, Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said on Friday.

Lacson called on residents to cooperate and comply with forced evacuation orders for their own safety.

The villagers were evacuated on Wednesday and Thursday because they live in areas that are in the direct path of lahar flow and are most vulnerable to an eruption, Mangilimutan said.

They are the people who could be trapped should the volcano erupt again, she said.

La Castellana is the remaining LGU in Negros Occidental with evacuees.

Lacson said the danger of another Kanlaon eruption still remains.

Jose Erlito Seririta, 63, of Barangay Cabagnaan said the ash fall has caused his 1,500 already flowering coffee plants at the foot of Kanlaon to dry up and die. Hot ash rained on his plants during the eruption Monday, he said.

He said his plants survived El Niño but not from the wrath of the volcano. He plans to find a job to survive since his farm has been devastated.


Meanwhile, 264 evacuees in La Carlota City went home on Friday, Mayor Rex Jalandoon said.

He said although Kanlaon was still under Alert Level 2 it has simmered down with less earthquakes and sulfur dioxide

However, the city will remain alert for any volcanic activity, he said

He said their water is now potable, so their problem has been resolved.

They had the water tested and it was safe to drink, he said.

The city has also purchased portable water filters and the Philippine Red Cross has brought a filtering system to the town.*

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