Police officers deployed within Taal Volcano’s 14-kilometer danger zone will be pulled out on Thursday (Jan.23), the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Wednesday.
PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, in a press conference, said the Police Regional Office 4-A (Calabarzon) was given 48 hours to do a final sweep to make sure that no residents are left inside the Taal Volcano’s 14-kilometer danger zone.
“We have already done our best humane efforts to keep the evacuees from returning to their homes. Thus, starting tomorrow (Thursday), all deployed PNP personnel will move out from the 14-km Permanent Danger Zone and relocate to risk control points beyond the circumferential line or outermost perimeter for safety,” Banac said.
Banac said the order was based on the advisory provided by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology (Phivolcs) regarding the “deteriorating situation” of the Taal Volcano.
He said at least 13,000 police personnel were rotationally deployed in areas hit by the volcano’s eruption.
He assured the continuous deployment of the policemen to ensure peace and order as well as the security of the affected residents in the areas.
“Local PNP units continue to monitor reports that many evacuees still ignore the risks and try to go home to salvage their belongings such as TV sets, clothes, pictures, personal documents,” he said.
He also urged the remaining residents to vacate the area for their own safety.
Banac said there are still residents who ignore the risks and try to go home to get their belongings.
“The PNP urges all evacuees to fully cooperate with authorities and heed all the warnings. To anyone who may be found left behind, the PNP will have no recourse but to conduct forced evacuation,” he stressed.
Alert Level 4 is still raised over Taal Volcano, which means a hazardous eruption still looms. (PNA)