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PIA Press Release

Army rescue teams conduct cleanup drive in Sorsogon

Juban, Sorsogon (26 November) -- As Bulusan volcano calms down after spewing ash two days ago, the Army's rescue personnel visited the public schools in this province to remove the thickening ashes inside the school facilities, a military official said today.

LtCol Santiago Enginco, Commanding Officer of the 49th Infantry Battalion based here said that he employed the 35-man Disaster Response Operations Platoon together with another platoon from his unit to clean the affected school facilities.

"Since there are no one to be rescued so far, I am making use of our spare time to clear some of the school buildings which were hit by thick ash fall a few days ago. There is a possibility that the roof will collapse if these are not immediately removed," said Enginco.

At around 9:00am, the soldiers cleaned the 6 classrooms of the Putting Sapa elementary school in Juban town. Located within the 4-kilometer permanent danger zone, the grounds are practically covered by mud and ashes, forcing the school authorities to vacate the school.

"We are now conducting our classes in the evacuation center in Cogon village. In coordination with the school teachers there, we cater the classes of the pupils inside their school grounds which also hosted the evacuees from this place," said Agnes Martinez, a school teacher from the abandoned school in Puting Sapa village.

At noon time of the same day, the soldiers trooped to Guruyan elementary school in Irosin town to continue the cleaning of the 10 school buildings there.

Climbing the rooftops, the soldiers scraped the hardened ashes which stuck in the galvanized iron roofing of the school buildings as school children were watching.

Major General Ruperto Pabustan, Commander of the 9th Infantry Division, has directed the Task Force Sagip under Brigadier General Marlou Salazar to continuously monitor the situation around Mt Bulusan.

On November 23 (Tuesday) at least 100 soldiers backed by 12 military transport trucks were sent to establish an Advanced Command Post in Balogo Complex in Sorsogon City. (HMCabunoc, DPAO 9ID PA) [top]

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