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OCD-6 urges strict enforcement of 4-km Permanent Danger Zone

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The Office of the Civil Defense 6 wants the strict enforcement of the 4-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone surrounding Kanlaon volcano, following its phreatic eruption on June 3.

OCD-6 regional director Raul Fernandez yesterday said that there should be no people, or human activity in the area, if Alert Level 2 is raised by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

“We are not the one who will enforce it, but PHIVOLCS, based on its scientific data,” Fernandez said, as he stressed the need for the relocation of families residing at the permanent danger zone

He confirmed on Thursday that 1,362 individuals, composed of 427 families, who are residents of Barangay Mansalanao in La Castellana, have already returned to their respective homes.

Fernandez however said that as of this time, there is no clearance yet for residents of Brgy. Biak Na Bato in La Castellana, to return to their respective residences.

Mayor Alme Rhummyla Nicor Mangilimutan disclosed the situation in Brgy. Mansalanao, La Castellana, is now back to normal, and their area is not within the Kanlaon danger zone.

OCD 6 records showed that there are still 4,785 persons temporarily staying inside and outside evacuation centers in La Castellana, as other evacuees were brought to an evacuation center in Binalbagan.

The phreatic eruption of Kanlaon affected 1,752 families, composed of 6,119 persons, living in 20 barangays of various local government units located at the foot of the volcano.

In a meeting at the Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City, Fernandez said he asked Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga for the continued testing of the air and water quality at communities surrounding Kanlaon volcano.

On the other hand, PHIVOLCS expressed its support for the holding in abeyance of cloud seeding operations in Negros Occidental, as the rain it could induce may resulted in lahar flows.*

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