‘Lahar flow’ rumors send panic-A A +A
Sunday, August 12, 2012
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Rumors of lahar flow to this city sent people to panic Sunday morning, forcing some to move out of stores and shops.
News that lahar will reportedly flow from Guagua to Bacolor and down to bury the City of San Fernando -- just as floodwaters in many barangays have subsided amid fair weather -- spread like wildfire after the 10 a.m. mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral.
But City Administrator Ferdinand Caylao, who apparently received the same report, was quick to dispel the news as mere rumors and the handiwork of some who wanted to sow panic for “petty interests.”
“That is not true. No lahar will flow into the city. It’s just a rumor and the handiwork of some who have nothing else to do or may have something in mind in sowing panic in the midst of a calamity. Ituro lang ninyo sa amin ang mga iyan at ipapahuli natin sila,” Caylao told Sun.Star Pampanga.
Engr. Lulu Alingcastre of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) corroborated Caylao’s statements and similarly dismissed the reports as mere rumors.
“Just rumors and the handiwork of some people who wanted to rob a supermarket in San Fernando that is why they did this panic blast based on official reports we gathered. We have done the necessary information dissemination via radio (RW 95.1 FM), Facebook and text blasts to calm down people,” Alingcastre said in a phone interview.
She said the PDRRMC, Capitol executives and barangay officials, in coordination with San Fernando’s disaster response office, immediately conducted an ocular inspection where the rumored lahar would flow.
“We have inspected water channels, rivers and dikes in Guagua, Bacolor and San Fernando and found no trace or signs of possible lahar flow. As of this time, we are very safe from it and we are monitoring every minute the situation in Pampanga. We just hope that such unscrupulous individuals would cease from sowing panic in people especially in this time when we are in a calamity,” Alingcastre said.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 13, 2012.