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Sotto chides ‘epal’ critics of cloud seeding proposal

/ 04:43 PM January 14, 2020
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Senate President Vicente Sotto III. (PRIB Photo)

MANILA, Philippines — With the Philippine Air Force supporting his suggestion to conduct cloud seeding operations over areas affected by ashfall from Taal Volcano, Senate President Vicente Sotto III chided those who are opposing his proposal.

“Yung mga epal na gustong magdunung-dunungan, porque hindi nila idea sasabihin nila hindi maganda, e ano gusto nila, mamuo? Mamumuo yun eh, pag hindi mo inalis eh. Hindi ba?” Sotto said in a phone patch interview with reporters on Tuesday.

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(Those who act like they know everything, just because it’s not your proposal, you say it’s not a good idea, what do they want? For ash to solidify? It will solidify if you don’t clean it up, right?).

“Pag binasa mo, malaki tsansa na mag-wash away…Pero yung mamuo, ano ngayon ang gagawin nila? Papalahin nila? Buong Batangas? Buong Metro Manila?” he added.

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(If you wet it, there’s a big chance for it to be washed away…But if it solidifies, what will they do? Shovel all the ash in Batangas? In Manila?)

“Kung umulan? It will be washed away, so ang sinasuggest ko, paulanin na nila. Kesa sa patagalin pa,” he further said.

(If it rains, it will be washed away, so I suggest it to make it rain now instead of waiting for it).

According to Sotto, the Philippine Air Force is now studying his proposal and assessing when they can conduct the cloud seeding operation.

“Pinagaaralan lang nila kung kailan nila pwedeng gawin. Okay daw, gusto nilang gawin. Kasi not necessarily sa Taal mismo, pwedeng umpisahan muna sa paligid pero hindi sila sure kung makakalipad baka pasukin yung engine ng ashfall. So tinatantsa pa nila,” he said.

(They are just studying when the cloud seeding operation can be conducted. Not necessarily in Taal but it can start off in nearby areas. But they’re wary that ash may penetrate the engine).

“The idea is very acceptable, gusto nila [they like it],” he said.

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The senator further that the the rain could help wash away fallen ash.

“Ang (p)amumuo, ang magbabara, sinasabi nila sa mga alulod, it happens kung binasa mo lang. Pero kung tuloy-tuloy na ulan, mahuhugas yon…water is the answer. Anong gagawin nila dun sa putik, patutuyuin?” he added.

(Ash will solidify or clog drainages if you only wet it. But if water flow is continuous, it will be washed away…water is the answer. What would they do? Let it dry on its own?)

However, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) director Renato Solidum said Sotto’s proposal still needs further study.

Over the weekend, Taal spewed a kilometer-high column of ash prompting the evacuation of thousands of residents in affected areas.

Taal Volcano is currently on Alert Level 4, which means that “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days,” according to Phivolcs.

Ashfall from Taal, the country’s second-most-active volcano, affected nearby provinces and even reached as far as Quezon City.

“Sabi naman ng weather group ng Air Force, as long daw as the ashfall subsides, directive lang hihintayin nila, gagawin nila ‘pag nakakita ng seedable clouds over the affected areas,” Sotto went on.

(According to the weather group of the Air Force, as long as the ashfall subsides, they will only have to wait for the directive and then they will do it).

Edited by JPV
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TAGS: ashfall, cloud seeding. Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Nation, news, Taal, Taal Volcano eruption
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