Cover Story


Effective Response, Preparedness Reviewed

Jun 11, 2024, 1:20 AM
Cheryl Luis True

Cheryl Luis True


On Monday, June 3, Mount Kanlaon erupted in a powerful display, sending a 5,000-meter plume of ash into the sky, prompting the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) to raise the alert level to 2.

This marks the second significant eruption on this exact date, 18 years after a similar event in 2006.

Whether a coincidence or a curious pattern, the impact on health, local businesses, and government response has been immediate and multifaceted.

Health Impact

The ashfall reported in Manghanoy, La Castellana, poses significant health risks.

Volcanic ash, comprising fine particles, can cause a range of health issues, particularly for individuals with preexisting conditions such as bronchitis, emphysema, or asthma. Common symptoms include nose and throat irritation, coughing, eye discomfort, and minor skin problems.

The Department of Health (DOH) has advised residents to minimize exposure by staying indoors, keeping windows closed, using dust masks, and wearing goggles to protect against eye irritation.

The public is also urged to clear ash from roofs to prevent structural damage and potential injuries.

Business and Travel

The eruption has disrupted local businesses and travel.

Flights to Bacolod have been canceled, affecting travel plans and potentially causing economic losses for the tourism sector. Businesses in affected areas may face closures or reduced operations due to ashfall and health precautions.

The immediate economic impact is compounded by the potential for ongoing activity at the volcano, which could deter tourists and investors in the short to medium term.


Local governments have swiftly responded by preparing evacuation centers, such as in La Carlota City, to accommodate families needing refuge.

Phivolcs has issued clear guidelines, advising the public to avoid the four-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) around the volcano to reduce risks from explosions, rockfall, and landslides. Continuous monitoring and timely updates from Phivolcs are crucial to managing the situation and ensuring community safety.

The Bigger Picture

The recurrence of eruptions on June 3 raises questions about volcanic patterns and the potential for predictive measures.

While the exact reasons for this timing remain unclear, the consistency highlights the importance of preparedness and continuous monitoring.

The community's resilience, supported by proactive health measures, business adjustments, and government readiness, will be key to navigating the challenges posed by Mount Kanlaon's activity.

The eruption of Mount Kanlaon is a stark reminder of nature's unpredictability and the need for robust response strategies.

As the situation develops, staying informed and prepared is essential for minimizing health risks and economic disruptions.

The coordinated efforts of health authorities, businesses, and local governments will determine how effectively the region can cope with and recover from this volcanic event.

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