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PNP, PCG ordered to withdraw from 14-kilometer danger zone around Taal Volcano

A boy holds on to his mother as they flee from their town following Taal Volcano’s eruption, in Talisay, Batangas, Philippines, January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

The Philippine National Police issued an order withdrawing his men that were deployed within the 14-kilometer radius danger zone around Taal volcano.

PNP Spokesman BGen. Bernard Banac on Wednesday said that cops will start moving out from the permanent danger zone by Thursday, Jan. 23.

Banac explained that the directive is based on the advisories of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology regarding the deteriorating situation around Taal Volcano.

Ayaw naman natin na kung sakali man talagang sumabog ang Bulkang Taal ay mapahamak at malagay sa peligro ang buhay ng ating mga kapulisan, ” Banac said during DZRH’s Breaktime.

The PNP official added that they will enforce a force evacuation before leaving the 14-kilometer danger zone, and will place checkpoints to prevent people from getting near the Taal Volcano

However, Banac said that his men will be re-positioned and will be on standby at different risk-control points in case they need to rescue operations.

Kung may panawagan na kailangan i-rescue gagawin pa rin ng PNP ang mandato nito na tulungan ang lahat ng nangangailangan,” Banac said

Kung manganganib na ang buhay ng mga pulis natin ay depende na ito sa ground commander natin kung papayagan niya pa rin na pumasok yung mga pulis para i-rescue kung sino man,” he added.

The Philippine Coast Guard has also ordered the withdrawal of their personnel from the 14-kilometer danger zone around Taal Volcano.

Very strong ang instruction ng NDRRMC at DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) to implement the total lock down policy. Even reponders are advised to avoid going to the 14 km danger area,” Commodore Art Abu said.

Abu said that PCG personnel are willing to take the risk and return to the Taal Volcano island in the event that their services are needed.

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