Army deploys 1,000 soldiers for clearing operations as Bulusan spews ash anew
LIGAO CITY — About 1,000 soldiers from the Philippine Army’s 31st Infantry Battalion based in Juban town in Sorsogon province and 22nd Infantry Battalion based in Bulan town were deployed in areas affected by the second phreatic eruption of Mt. Bulusan on Sunday.
Brigadier General Aldwine Almase, commander of 903rd Infantry Brigade, ordered the troops to conduct clearing operations, particularly in villages severely affected by ashfall.
“We assure the Sorsoganon, especially the barangays affected by the steam-driven eruption and ashfall of Mt. Bulusan this Sunday, that the brigade is fully able and ready to help in this time of need. Along with our partner agencies, we will work hand in hand to surpass this natural catastrophe. The Team Patriot will do everything we can and employ our capabilities to bring the affected families to safety, “ Almase said.
First Lieutenant Richelle Arambuyong, Assistant Civil Military Operations of 903rd IB, also told Inquirer in a text message that 35 military vehicles and some civil vehicles are already available and ready for possible massive evacuation movement.
According to outgoing governor and senator-elect Francis Escudero, villagers experienced ashfall in the municipalities of Juban, Magallanes, and Casiguran. Ashfall was also reported in the town of Pilar and Sorsogon City and some villages in nearby Legazpi City in Albay province.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said Bulusan had another phreatic eruption at 3:37 a.m. that lasted for 18 minutes.
Phivolcs raised the status of the volcano to alert level 1 after it spewed steam-rich gray plumes that rose about a kilometer on June 5.
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