Officials of localities situated near the foot of Mt. Kanlaon in Negros Island urged their respective constituents to be vigilant and prayerful following the series of volcano-tectonic earthquakes that jolted some parts of Negros Occidental early Monday morning.
“Pray, be vigilant and keep safe,” La Carlota City Mayor Rex Jalando-on said in his Facebook post.
He said they had been monitoring the earthquakes since these started around 4 p.m. on Sunday.
According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology’s (Phivolcs) Kanlaon Volcano Bulletin No. 22 issued at 8 a.m. on Monday, there were four earthquakes, which took place at 1:01 a.m., 1:04 a.m., 1:34 a.m., and 2:06 a.m. with recorded magnitude of 3.2 to 4.7.
Phivolcs said Kanlaon’s seismic monitoring network recorded 136 tectonic earthquakes on the western flanks during the 24-hour observation period.
Magnitude 4.7 tremors were felt in La Carlota at 1:01 a.m. and 2:06 a.m.
Residents in neighboring towns such as La Castellana and Pontevedra as well as in the cities of Bago and Bacolod also felt the 2:06 a.m. temblor at Intensity IV.
The tremor at 1:01 a.m. was felt at Intensity V in La Carlota, and Intensity III in Bago and Bacolod cities.
In La Castellana, Mayor Rhumyla Nicor-Mangilimutan said she felt a strong tremor around 1 a.m., and was able to get in touch with some village officials afterwards.
“As always, what we do is we confirm it with Phivolcs if it’s volcanic or tectonic. We just have to prepare, we don’t know anytime Mt. Kanlaon might erupt,” she said in a radio interview.
On Monday, Mangilimutan met with personnel of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office to discuss the local government’s preparedness as shown in the photo uploaded on the municipality’s Arangka La Castellana Facebook account.
The mayor also urged her constituents to pray for their safety.
In Bago City, the city government posted on its Facebook page a call on its residents to stay safe following the earthquakes.
Meanwhile, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Phivolcs reminded Negrenses that Mt. Kanlaon, which straddles the provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, is still at Alert Level 1 or at an abnormal condition and has entered a period of unrest.
It also warned local government units to strictly prohibit entry into the four-kilometer radius permanent danger zone “due to the further possibilities of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or phreatic eruptions”.
The DOST-Phivolcs also advised civil aviation authorities to “avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ejecta from any sudden phreatic eruption can be hazardous to aircraft”. (PNA)