Sotto wants cloud seeding in areas affected by Taal eruption, ashfall
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III is proposing that cloud seeding operations be conducted in areas affected by the recent eruption of Taal Volcano to help clean up fallen ash and debris.
“I’m proposing cloud seeding action in the Taal Volcano (eruption) affected areas…I sent word to (Executive Secretary Salvador) Medialdia,” he told reporters in a message.
“Water removes debris…Let’s not wait for the rain,” he added.
“Water would alleviate the present ashfall bad effects,” he said in a separate message.
Sotto noted that the Philippine Air Force (PAF) has already been informed of his proposal, which he said was supported by other senators.
“Air force is now being informed of my suggestion. PAF has a group that handles that. Pinagaaralan na as we speak (It’s now undergoing study as we speak),” he added.
According to Sotto, Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez said “they will wait till their planes can fly within areas concerned when the phreatic explosions will no longer affect their engines.”
“But they support the idea,” he added.
Taal’s recent volcanic activity left thick layers of ashes in Batangas, Cavite, and Tagaytay.
Ashfall has also reached parts of Metro Manila.
Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 4, which means “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.”
The Department of Health (DOH) has earlier warned the public of possible health risks due to exposure to volcanic ash.
Resumption of work at Senate
Sotto, meanwhile, confirmed that work at the Senate woul resume on Tuesday. It was canceled on Monday as ashfall triggered by Taal’s eruption affected parts of Metro Manila.
However, a public hearing of the Senate public services and local government committees was “rescheduled tentatively for Monday, January 20.”
The hearing is set to tackle the regulation of motorcycle taxis.
“This is to allow the invited agencies such as the Department of Transportation, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and the Land Transportation Office to focus on their disaster response efforts in the affected areas,” an advisory from the office of Senator Grace Poe, who chairs the Senate public services committee, read.
“In the meantime, we also urge these agencies to prepare for contingency plans and ensure that help is at hand for our kababayan (countrymen) needing transportation in all affected areas at this critical time,” it added.
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