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Residents Warned Against Drinking Water Near Mount Kanlaon

Water Near Mount Kanlaon

In Barangay Cabagnaan, La Castellana town, Negros Occidental, a long queue of water containers is a common sight as residents collect water from Cadujada spring using a water hose. This shift in water source comes after the recent volcanic eruption of Mount Kanlaon on June 3, 2024, and the subsequent lahar flow on June 5, 2024, which prompted locals to avoid river water near the volcano.

“Dati sa taas ng bulkan ang source ng tubig. Dahil nag-erupt ang bulkan, itinigil na,” Glenn Gulvio, a resident, shared, highlighting the disruption caused by the volcanic activities.

Water Challenges in Barangay Biaknabato

According to GMA Regional TV News, in Barangay Biaknabato, the most affected by the lahar flow, securing safe drinking water has become a critical issue. The local government is actively searching for uncontaminated water sources.

“Huwag na munang uminom sa pinagkukunan namin ng inuming tubig. Hindi namin alam kung safe ang tubig ngayon,” warned Barangay Chairman Joselito Martinez, Jr., emphasizing the uncertainty of the water’s safety.

The community is engaged in cleanup efforts, aided by heavy equipment provided by the local government unit (LGU) to clear roads obstructed by lahar.

Meanwhile, in Sitio Guintubdan, Barangay Ara-al, La Carlota City, a spring has turned a turquoise hue due to elevated sulfur levels following the eruption. This change further underscores the potential hazards associated with volcanic activity.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) continues to closely monitor Mount Kanlaon’s activities. “Medyo heightened pa rin ang ating activity. Ang plume na ibinubuga niya, it reaches up to 1500 meters pa rin,” reported Engr. Mari Andylene Quintia, resident volcanologist at the Kanlaon Volcano Observatory.

PHIVOLCS also warned of possible lahar flows if rain persists, posing additional risks to the affected areas.

Preparedness and Response Plans

During a response cluster meeting with various government agencies and LGUs, measures were discussed in anticipation of potentially raising the alert level over Kanlaon volcano to Alert Level 3.

“Tinitingnan po natin dito yung contingency plan ng probinsya in connection with the eruption. Titingnan ho kung paano po tayo mag-adjust para maging responsive sa sitwasyon,” stated Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) 6 Director Raul Fernandez.

Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson assured that assistance would be provided to affected residents. “When we say level 3, may massive evacuation. We cannot also predict kung we will have a second eruption,” he said, stressing the need for preparedness.

Additionally, the GMA Kapuso Foundation provided aid to 880 individuals in Canlaon City, Negros Oriental, affected by the phreatic eruption. Beneficiaries expressed their deep appreciation for the food packs received, offering some relief amidst the ongoing crisis.

Read Also: Water Conservation Effortlessly: Practical Tips Amid El Niño

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