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Permanent relocation eyed for residents within Kanlaon 4-km danger zone

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The absence of human settlements within the four kilometer Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) of the Kanlaon volcano within La Castellana, Negros Occidental, is being pushed by Mayor Alme Rhummyla Nicor Mangilimutan.

The mayor disclosed on Wednesday her proposal for the permanent relocation of about 100 families within the 4 kilometer PDZ in La Castellana, in support of the recommendation of the Office of the Civil Defense 6.

The OCD 6 asked the help of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the actual delineation of the 4 kilometer danger zone, in coordination with the Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology.

Portions of the danger zone are located within the cities of La Carlota and Bago, Murcia, and La Castellana in Negros Occidental, and Canlaon City in Negros Oriental.

According to OCD 6 head Raul Fernandez, the permanent danger zone should not be occupied by residents.

Mangilimutan said that as of June 19, there are still 891 families, composed of more than 3,000 individuals, occupying the five evacuation centers in La Castellana, as Alert Level 2 remains in effect at Kanlaon volcano.

Phivolcs has logged five volcanic quakes at Kanlaon volcano, as of June 19.

While she is pushing for the relocation of families residing within the permanent danger zone, the mayor admitted that the municipal government of La Castellana cannot afford their relocation, and they will need the support of the national government to evacuate them permanently.

More than two weeks after the phreatic eruption of Kanlaon volcano on June 3, Mangilimutan reported that the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in La Castellana have still enough food, with minimal problems on the health conditions of some, which are being monitored closely by health authorities deployed in evacuation centers.

She also thanked the financial assistance of P200,000 extended by Rep. Emilio Bernardino Yulo, as well as that of Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, Victorias City Mayor Javier Miguel Benitez, Negros Occidental Association of Chief Executives, Vice Mayor’s League of the Philippines – Negros Occidental, among other government agencies and private organizations, to the IDPs in La Castellana.*

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