Police: Expect rigid implementation of lockdown in Batangas danger area

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 22 2020 02:05 AM

A crack forms in a house on Tuesday in Talisay town, Batangas, one of the most critically hit areas as Taal volcano came to life last week. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Police chief to stubborn vice mayor: Help us, don't defy Phivolcs

MANILA—Residents of Batangas towns designated a danger zone because of the threat posed by Taal Volcano will be moved forcibly if they do not vacate their homes by Thursday morning, the Calabarzon police chief said on Tuesday.

Police Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. said that, starting on Wednesday morning, a lockdown will be strictly carried out inside the 14-kilometer radius from Taal's main crater.

"Magkakaroon ng forced evacuation. Sisiguraduhin natin na walang tao sa area. ’Pag na-implement natin ito, walang matitira doon," Danao told radio DZMM, adding that even police and military personnel will be barred from the high-risk areas.

He warned that no help will be sent should people defy the order.

"'Yung matitigas ang ulo doon at makakalusot, at biglang pumutok 'yan, pasensyahan tayo," Danao said.

"Going (home) is a risk you take on your part."

The police official also called on Vice Mayor Charlie Natanauan of Talisay town to stop "politicizing" the situation, after Natanauan appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to allow the townsfolk to return to their homes, even as the Phivolcs warned against it.

Talisay is within the high-risk areas of Taal, which means communities are susceptible to threats, such as base surges and volcanic tsunami. With Taal Volcano on Alert Level 4, high-risk areas were evacuated in anticipation of a possible explosive eruption.

"Nakikiusap kami sa inyo vice mayor na kung pwede, instead na salungatin natin 'yung sinasabi ng Phivolcs, please naman baka gusto niyo tumulong na lang," he said.

" 'Pag maraming mamatay diyan dahil sa paguudyok ninyo, siguraduhin mo lang vice mayor na mauuna ka diyan na mamatay. Kasi kapag nakita kitang buhay, iaalay kita sa bulkan. Tandaan niyo 'yan."

On Tuesday, the Phivolcs said it understood the concerns of local government units in high-risk areas, but it doesn't mean it will yield to their demands.