By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Negros Occidental provincial government and the Office of the Civil Defense said they plan to conduct simulation drills for areas surrounding Mt. Kanlaon, according to Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) head Zephard Caelian.
The volcano, which the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvolcs) still has under an ‘Alert Level 2,’ poses a threat to areas within a four-kilometer danger zone of the summit, which includes parts of San Carlos City, La Carlota City, Murcia, La Castellana, Moises Padilla, and Don Salvador Benedicto.
Caelian noted, while there has been less activity at the volcano, as compared to last November, when 249 volcanic earthquakes were recorded within a 24-hour period, “Only Philvolcs has the authority to downgrade the alert level.”
While the number of quakes has reduced since its peak last November, the elevated alert level remains in place as volcanologists believe the likely cause of the quakes is the intrusion of magma, or molten rock underneath the Earth’s surface, which, during a volcanic eruption, is ejected as lava./DGB, WDJ