Villagers, cops given 48 hours to flee Taal Volcano danger zone
MANILA, Philippines — The head of Calabarzon police said villagers including policemen have been given only 48 hours to leave the 14 kilometers danger zone of Taal Volcano as authorities would implement “total lockdown” or forced evacuation in the area.
“We were given by Phivolcs (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology) 48 hours so after 48 hours lahat ng tao namin diyan kukunin na rin namin [we will also retrieve our policemen there]. I have instructed chief of police na umpisahan na magbalot-balot sa kanilang station (start packing up in your respective stations),” Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. told dzMM in an interview.
“Kasi ang nakadeploy sa tropa natin diyan, hindi bababa ng limang daan ang pulis natin diyan [Over 500 police officers are deployed there.],” he added.
Danao also noted that starting Wednesday, police would start to pull out from the danger zone as per advice from experts in Phivolcs.
Danao advised villagers to follow their 48-hour deadline, saying stubborn villagers should tie themselves to a post.
“Bibitbitin namin sila [villagers]. Ngayon kung ayaw niyo umalis basta within 48 hours, ayaw niyo umalis diyan mas maganda diyan itali niyo na lang sarili niyo sa poste,” Danao said to remind villagers who return to their homes despite evacuation orders.
(We will carry them [villagers]. If you don’t want to leave within 48 hours, it is better to just tie yourselves to a post.)
“It has been nine days, araw-araw po kami nandyan (We are always there to help villagers return to evacuation centers),” Danao said.
Recent Phivolcs report said earthquakes recorded beneath the edifice of Taal Volcano were possibly an indication of more eruptions.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government said local government units within the danger zones include Agoncillo, Alitagtag, Balete, Cuenca, Laurel, Lemery, Lipa City, Malvar, Mataasnakahoy, San Nicolas, Sta. Teresita, Taal, Talisay and Tanauan City, all in Batangas; and Tagaytay City in Cavite.
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