• Troops, choppers to help quell Mt. Apo fire

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    THE military’s Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) on Saturday put on standby several troops and choppers to help in the effort to suppress the forest fire on Mt. Apo in Davao del Sur.

    Eastmincom officials said that a company size of soldiers from the 10th Infantry Division arrived in Kapatagan and will be reporting to the command post for briefing and subsequent deployment and utilization.

    Major Ezra Balagtey, Eastmincom chief information officer said that one helicopter from Tactical Operations Group (TOG) arrived in the area and was conducting Helicopter Bucket operation to quell the fire on Mt. Apo.

    “We are awaiting for the advice on the additional helicopter as the supposed movement was cancelled due to aircraft discrepancy,” Balagtey said.

    One Huey chopper is also being utilized to ferry volunteer, aerial assessment and resupply mission in the country’s highest peak.

    Meanwhile, police in Negros Oriental are also gearing for possible rescue operation once alert level 2 status is raise over Mt. Kanlaon that has shown signs of restiveness in the past few days.

    Senior Supt. Harris Fama, Negros Oriental Police Provincial Police Office (NOPPO) director, said at least 150 more policemen in Canlaon City are ready to be deployed in villages that will be affected once Mt. Kanlaon erupts or alert level 2 is declared.

    Fama added they have imposed travel restriction withi n the 4-kilometer radius from the crater area of volcano following an alert level status 1 on Tuesday night.

    Minor volcanic eruption from Mt. Kanlaon was first recorded at about 6:20 p.m. on Tuesday and the second eruption was at 7:18 p.m. that sent plumes of ash up to 1,500 meters up the sky. Two episodes of volcanic tremor were also recorded from Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

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