MANILA, Philippines — About 2,500 police officers from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) are prepared to be deployed to the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) region and support the ongoing relief efforts in areas hit by the eruption of the Taal Volcano in Batangas.
NCRPO director Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas on Tuesday said the regional headquarters has already alerted the 2,500 police officers to prepare for deployment to Calabarzon or Region IV-A.
“At the regional headquarters alone, we have alerted 2,500 people that includes mobile force company. Pina-alert din natin yung mga mobile district nila in case mas kailangan pa ‘yung forces. All stations are full alert only in case na kailangan,” Sinas said in a press conference.
Police personnel in the various Metro Manila districts may also be deployed if necessary but they will be focusing first in securing Metro Manila from crime, he explained.
“Sa ngayon, ang usapan namin sa buong NCRPO, ang first na magrespond is ‘yung regional headquarters muna before we touch the districts para hindi ma-touch ‘yung anti-criminality campaign and crime prevention functions namin sa NCRPO,” he added.
As of Tuesday, the NCRPO has deployed nearly 100 personnel to Calabarzon for relief efforts. Eight vehicles and two ambulances were also dispatched there to help with the transportation of evacuees.
Sinas said the NCRPO has so far rescued 1,696 evacuees from the towns of Talisay, Laurel, and Tanuan, in Batangas.
The NCRPO will likewise deploy health service personnel to the affected areas to serve the medical needs of the deployed police officers and the residents being evacuated.
“‘Yung mga rescuers may dedicated na health service personnel galing sa amin dito sa (Philippine National Polie headquarters Camp) Crame para tingnan ‘yung status nila,” Sinas said.
“Ngayon ang kailangan lang doon is more on vehicles kasi para sa transportation,” he added.
On Sunday, Taal Volcano spewed steam, ash and small rocks. This prompted the government to order the evacuation of residents in nearby villages and ask tourists to leave the Tagaytay, Batangas and Cavite areas as a precaution for an imminent eruption.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) also raised the danger level to 4, meaning a hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours or days.
READ: Taal Volcano erupts
A state of calamity was also declared over the entire province of Batangas.
Taal Volcano had a magmatic eruption early Monday. Lava fountains were observed as early as 4:00 a.m. on Jan. 13 while Phivolcs said that new lateral vents were discovered along the northern flank of Taal Volcano. Short lava fountains measuring up to 500 meters were observed, Phivolcs said.
Starting Monday night until Tuesday morning, a total of 44 earthquakes were also monitored and recorded by Phivolcs following a magnitude 4.1 tremor that rocked Agoncillo, Batangas on Monday night.
Specialists at the Phivolcs also observed on Tuesday that the lava fountain at Taal Volcano had weakened as of Monday night. However, they explained that it is not a sign that the volcano is slowing down and safe again.
A total of 30,423 individuals or 6,891 families from the provinces of Cavite and Batangas were affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.
Out of the said number, the NDRRMC added that 18,187 persons or 4,175 families have taken temporary shelter in 118 evacuation areas.
Edited by MUF
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