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Gov’t agencies ordered to prioritize evacuation of Taal volcano island

Police station in Talisay, Batangas (Photo by DZRH Val Gonzales)

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered national government agencies to prioritize the evacuation of residents at Taal Volcano Island.

Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana noted that three barangays are located in the said island.

Ang directive niya (President Duterte) is still to rescue people who are caught by the ash, eruption, yung mga nanganganib ang bahay, especially yung nasa island,” Lorenzana said.

Lorenzana assured that the members of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are currently on the ground and are conducting search and rescue operations.

He added that the personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways are clearing roads that have been covered in ash.

Lorenzana also mentioned that the Department of Health is also on the ground for evacuees who experience sicknesses, particularly respiratory illness, due to exposure to ash from Taal Volcano.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has raised alert level no. 4 over Taal volcano, which means that a hazardous explosive eruption can happen within hours or days.

As of 6:00AM on Tuesday, Jan. 14, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management said that the phreatic eruption of Taal volcano has affected 6,891 families, or around 30,423 individuals.

President Duterte conducted an aerial inspection of  the said volcano while en route to Manila from Davao City.

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