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Vice Mayor Claims Lava Stops When Its Wet, Police Wants To Throw Him Into Taal Volcano

Mark Andrew

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  • Vice Mayor Charlie Natanauan of Talisay, Batangas thinks residents within the danger zone of Taal Volcano should already return home, despite Alert Level #4 warnings.
  • Natanauan says seismologists’ “opinions” about the eruption is already damaging the local economy.
  • The police chief of Calabarzon said he’ll throw Natanauan to the volcano as a sacrifice if people go back to their residences because of his encouragements.

A public official in the Philippines has sparked outrage among netizens after downplaying authorities’ warnings about the dangers posed by Taal Volcano. According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Alert Level #4 remains in several areas and a hazardous eruption could possibly happen within hours or days.

However, Talisay Vice Mayor Charlie Natanauan, said in media interviews that PHIVOLCS director Renato Solidum “is not God” and that no one – scientists included – can really predict volcanic eruptions. He also wants to ask President Rodrigo Duterte to reverse the agency’s “opinion” about the eruption because sensationalizing the news is already hurting the economy.

“What if the volcano will only erupt after 1 year?” he asked, adding it would be hard for people to stay in evacuation centers for a long time. So he’s suggesting that residents within the danger zone to return to their homes and go on with their lives.

Natanauan likewise added that he believes there would not be a major destruction in case the volcano does erupt since lava will stop once it hits the water “because it will get wet.”

Maria Antonia Bornas, chief of PHIVOLCS Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division, said they understand that the vice mayor’s comments may be because he is is “under so much stress.” Despite that, she assured that they are doing their best and their warnings are based on science.

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Meanwhile, Brig. Gen Vicente Danao Jr, police chief of Calabarzon, reiterated that residents from the lockdown areas are prohibited from entering the danger zones.

In a media interview, Danao said that the vice mayor should help and not tell people to go back. If people die because of Natanauan’s encouragements, he will throw him into the volcano as a sacrifice.

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