Nearly 800 persons evacuated due to Mt. Kanlaon eruption -- NDRRMC

Mt. Kanlaon (File photo)

Close to 800 individuals were forced to flee their homes when an explosive eruption occurred at the summit vent of Mt. Kanlaon in Negros Oriental on Monday, June 3, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported.

In a situational report on Tuesday, June 4, the NDRRMC said that 685 persons (149 families) were brought to eight evacuation centers in Western Visayas (Region 6) and Central Visayas (Region 7) while 111 persons (21 families) opted to go to their friends or relatives’ homes.

Affected were residents of Bago, La Carlota, La Castellana, Moises Padilla (Magallon), and Pontevedra towns in Negros Occidental; and Canlaon town in Negros Oriental. 

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said it closely coordinated with its regional counterparts in Regions 6 and 7 on the situation and response operations.

“We are receiving reports of evacuation activities in Negros Occidental. Response teams are being deployed in the affected areas to move the residents to safe places. The Provincial DRRMO of Negros Occidental has also raised its Alert Level Status to BLUE and activated its response clusters,” the OCD said.

“As we speak, this is still manageable at the level of the local DRRMOs but we are on full alert and ready to provide necessary assistance if needed. We will provide continuous updates,” it added.

The OCD urged affected residents to stay vigilant and heed authorities' warnings and advisories.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) alerted its response units in Negros Island to assist local government units (LGUs) and other concerned agencies in ensuring public safety amid Mt. Kanlaon’s eruption.

PCG spokesperson Rear Admiral Armando Balilo said the Coast Guard District Western Visayas has prepared its deployable response groups (DRGs) and rescue assets for immediate dispatch, as the need arises. 

He said quick response teams (QRTs) from other Coast Guard Districts in Visayas and Mindanao have also been directed to mobilize in aid of ongoing relief operations.

“Our vessels and aerial assets at the National Headquarters here in Manila are now on standby for possible augmentation," Balilo shared.

"We are in constant communication with our regional counterpart in Negros Island to make sure that the PCG can provide immediate assistance to the affected residential communities,” the Coast Guard spokesperson added. 

Further, the PCG’s partners from the PCG Auxiliary have already prepared their resources and manpower for the conduct of humanitarian missions.