Military deploys trucks, disaster teams to assist Southern Tagalog residents

Rappler.com
Military deploys trucks, disaster teams to assist Southern Tagalog residents
All military units in Luzon are on red alert as residents brace for the possible 'hazardous eruption' of Taal Volcano in Batangas

MANILA, Philippines – Luzon-based units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were put on red alert as of 6 pm Sunday, January 12, as the region braced for the possible “hazardous eruption” of Taal Volcano in Batangas.

AFP Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Felimon Santos Jr also ordered the deployment of humanitarian aid and disaster response units to assist local government units affected by the explosion. 

Disaster response teams have been dispatched to the Batangas towns of Agoncillo, Balete, Talisay, and Laurel, where evacuation efforts are underway.

At least 20 military trucks have also been deployed in Southern Tagalog to assist with evacuation efforts, according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. There are additional trucks ready to be dispatched as the need arises.

Taal Volcano spewed an ash column one kilometer high on Sunday afternoon, prompting the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) to raise its status to Alert Level 3 and then 4. It warned that a “hazardous” eruption may occur “within hours to days.” 

“We are in constant coordination with the local government units and the Office of Civil Defense and ready to provide available equipment and manpower to assist in disaster response operations,” the AFP said in a statement. 

The AFP also reminded the public especially in disaster-affected areas to exercise caution and voluntarily evacuate to safer areas. (READ: How to stay safe during a volcanic ashfall) 

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that at least 6,000 people have fled their homes. 

As of posting, there were reports of ashfall in the provinces of Laguna, Batangas, Cavite, and even Metro Manila. (LOOK: Ashfall from Taal Volcano spreads to Calabarzon, Metro Manila) – Rappler.com

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