By Priam Nepomuceno

CLOUD COVER. Mt. Kanlaon continues to spew smoke, steam, and sulphur dioxide but can hardly be noticed on a cloudy day, like in this June 5, 2024 photo. Damage to agriculture brought by its eruption has reached over PHP104 million in Regions 6 and 7, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council bared Thursday (June 13, 2024). (Contributed photo)

MANILA – Damage to agriculture brought by the eruption of Mt. Kanlaon in Negros Island has reached over PHP104 million in Regions 6 and 7, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported Thursday.

In its latest update, the NDRRMC said the damage is equivalent to 3,947.27 metric tons of production.

Affected farmers and fisherfolk are placed at 1,706 — 135 for Region 6 and 1,571 in Region 7 and crop areas at 842.33 hectares in both regions.

Of this, 625.85 hectares were classified as having no “chance of recovery” while 216.48 hectares were tagged as having a “chance to recover” from the damage.

Meanwhile, affected families were placed at 8,580, equivalent to 29,739 individuals residing in 25 barangays in Regions 6 and 7.

The Office of Civil Defense earlier said affected families include those displaced and those not needing transfer or removal from their residence.

The government has provided aid to the affected families amounting to PHP11,346,626 worth of goods and other items.

Mt.  Kanlaon erupted for six minutes on June 3, producing a 5,000-meter plume. The steam-driven or phreatic explosion occurred at the summit vent at 6:51 p.m.

OCD still on ‘Blue Alert’

OCD spokesperson Director Edgar Posadas said the agency is still in “blue alert” status to complement disaster response efforts in regions affected by the eruption.

“This means that an additional 50 percent of our manpower, both virtually and physically, especially our uniformed services, are immediately available for deployment if needed,” he said in an interview with Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon aired over PTV Thursday. (PNA)