Calling all mountaineers, both local and foreign, wishing to scale up the mountains of Mt. Kanlaon.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has suspended indefinitely all mountaineering activities at Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park (MKNP) in Negros Occidental due to cracks and landslides caused by the recent 6.9 earthquake that hit the province.

DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said the suspension is imperative to ensure the safety of mountaineers and other park visitors.

“The department’s decision to suspend mountain climbing and trekking activities to Mt. Kanlaon is to ensure the safety of tourists, both local and foreign,” Paje said.

Paje likewise advised field personnel conducting assessment and monitoring activities to be watchful of possible falling rocks and other sediments from the landslide affected areas.

In a report, DENR - MKNP Park Superintendent Cecil L. Cañada said that based on initial assessment, some portions of the Mt. Kanlaon’s crater have been affected by last week’s earthquake. “There were cracks on the volcano surface and landslides. Mountain trails and the eco-tourism area of the park were also affected,” she said.

Cañada also said that all advance booking and trekking permits have also been suspended until further notice.

She also said that based on the reconnaissance conducted by MKNP Eco-Tourism Officer Angelo C. Bibar and other trained guides and rescue group based in So. Guintubdan, La Carlota City, frequent aftershocks coupled with occasional heavy rainfall could also pose danger to the lives of mountain trekkers and tourists as well.

Mount Kanlaon straddles the cities of Bago, La Carlota and San Carlos City; and the municipalities of Murcia and La Castellana, all in Negros Occidental. Its boundaries also extend up to Canlaon City of Negros Oriental.