Government declares "No Man's Land in Volcano Island"

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By MDN Digital News Team
January 17, 2020

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MANILA, Philippines - The government has declared a very strict imposition of "no man's land in the volcano island" following the continued threat of a worst and biggest eruption of Taal volcano - even as it seems it rested now.

The town of Agoncillo in Batangas has also become a 'ghost town' as a result of massive evacuation this week of its residents.

The town has also become all gray in color, with tons of ashfall covering vast of lands, houses, and the vast agricultural crops.

President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of "no man's land policy in the volcano island" made by the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) as the department headed by Director Renato Solidum fears Taal volcano would erupt again - and this time it would be big and worst than on Sunday's (January 12) eruption.

video credit to GMA News

The government has already imposed lock down on most towns covered under the 14 kilometer radius danger zone - and if the worst scenario would eventually happen and the alert level is raised to 5, it would even include the towns under 17 kilometer radius.

2 dead; 80,000 evacuated

Meanwhile, in the latest report made by the Batangas Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (BPDRRMO), it reported that at least two people died of cardiac arrest while they are in the midst of looking for safer grounds during the Sunday's eruption of Taal volcano.

The BPDRRMO report identified those who died as 65-year-old Anatalia Perez Dionisio, a resident of Sampaloc Village, Talisay town; and a certain Danilo Toledo, 27, of Barangay Laguile, Taal town. Dionesio died on Monday while Toledo also died the following day.            

A top official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Joint Task Force Taal told reporters there are now 82,000 or 18,664 families who were evacuated at different evacuation centers established by the national and local governments.

Tension at evac centers

Tension also gripped at some evacuation centers after a total lock down is imposed by the government and closely implemented by the PNP and AFP - as some of the evacuees wanted to go home for fear their pets and other livestok animals would suffer from illnesses as they have not eaten and taken cared of since evacuation started this week.

One of the evacuees lied down at the soil ground in front of evacuation center as a show of protest to the recent imposition of "no man's land policy," while other evacuees aired their grievances to the media, saying they wanted to go back home to sell their pigs and get those important documents they had left at home.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año also mobilized members of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to help in the road-clearing and cleaning of ashfall including other vulcanic debris of all the affected areas under the kilomter 14 radius including all towns in the provinces that were also reached by the ashfall. 
   
Already, the BFP in Calabarzon region has utilized 147 firetrucks including 531 BFP personnel and 39 emergency medical staff. 

Año said DILG's field affices were also coordinating with local executives in all the affected areas to make sure that mandatory evacuation and delivery of basic necessities of evacuees are taken cared of.

600 million damage

A top official of the Department of Agriculture told the media the Taal volcano eruption has already damaged nearly 600 million of crops  and livestok. The damage was more on fruits and vegetables, it was learned.

Agriculture Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan said damages on crops totalled around 577.39 million and it covered a vast 2,772 hectares of cultivated lands. 

The breakdown of those affected agricultural products include the following: bananas, 20.96 percent; coffee, 10.91 percent; rice - livestock and cows were also among those badly affected.

The DA Undersecretary told reporters in a briefing in Malacañang that the agency has now allocated 21.7 million for crops and livestock assistance to farmers affected. The funds are made available to local government in Batangas, the official said.

Silver lining

The DA official said despite meseries that the Taal eruptions has brought to people, the said calamity offers a silver lining as well.

He said the ash from the Taal eruption could help replenish the level of nutrient of the overused soil around the mostly affected agricultural areas. Aside from the fact, that a group has also successfully converted the collected eruption ashfall into bricks. 


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