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Lahar monitored in waterways around Kanlaon

MANILA, Philippines — Lahar flows were monitored in at least four waterways surrounding Kanlaon Volcano in the last couple of days, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

State volcanologists said the thunderstorm generated volcanic sediment flow or lahar on the southern slopes of the volcano.

Three seismic stations of the Kanlaon Volcano Network detected the lahar that began at around 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

Grey cohesive mud, plat debris and gravel were deposited by the lahar in the waterways of Tamburong Creek, Intiguiwan River in Guinpanaan and upstream Baji-Baji Falls, as well as the Padudusan Falls and Binalbagan River.

Affected by lahars were Barangays Biak-na-Bato, Calapnagan and Cabacungan in La Castellana, as well as Masulog in Canlaon City.

The lahars were generally confined in the channels but flows along Tamburong Creek overflowed and dumped deposit on a stretch of the main road in Biak-na-Bato, that rendered it impassable to motorists.

Phivolcs warned that continued rains could continue to generate lahars, as well as muddy stream flow or muddy runoff in rivers draining in the southern Kanlaon edifice.

Phivolcs said 27 volcanic earthquakes were recorded since Wednesday morning. Sulfur dioxide emissions were monitored at a slightly lower 3,464 tons per day but plumes were still voluminous, standing at 1,500 meters tall.

State weather bureau Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has forecast thunderstorms today that could generate larger volume of lahar.

In an interview with RMN dyHB, Science Secretary Renato Solidum raised the possibility of another eruption of Kanlaon, citing its characteristics. The volcano is currently at Alert Level 2 (increased unrest).

Residents of local government units affected by the Kanlaon volcano phreatic explosion in central Negros are in dire need of potable water, as rivers, streams and springs are contaminated with lahar.

Biak-na-Bato barangay chairman Joselito Martinez in La Castellana town, Negros Occidental, whose village was hit by lahar flow, said they need more potable water.

Water shortage was also reported in the barangays of