Taal eruption at hand: Companies urged to suspend work

Taal eruption at hand: Companies urged to suspend work
Undated photo of the skyline of Makati City in Metro Manila, Philippines
JC Gellidon via Unsplash / CC0

MANILA, Philippines (Update 2, 7:05 a.m.) — Malacañang at past midnight announced the suspension of Monday work at government offices in the National Capital Region, Calabarzon and Region 3.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea directed government agencies and schools to cancel work and classes except frontline response agencies involved in the delivery of basic and health services.

The announcement came following state seismologists' warning of the hazardous eruption of the Taal Volcano within hours or days.

Companies were also advised to ensure that their employees are not put in harm's way after the Department of Health warned of the health risks of ashfall from the non-magma explosion of the volcano on Sunday.

The ashfall reached the urban areas of Metro Manila as well as the Batanes Group of Islands in the extreme north of the country.

READ: DOH cautions public on effects of Taal ashfall

"The private sector is highly encouraged to suspend work for the safety of their employees," Malacañang said in an advisory.

Ash from the volcano can irritate the skin, nose and eyes and the public are advised to wear masks and protect their eyes. In a 3:20 a.m. advisory, state seismologists at PHIVOLCS warn that fine ashfall can also cause breathing problems especially among elderly and children. "It is particularly dangerous to our health," it says.

The agency also encouraged the public to protect their mouths and noses using N95-grade facemasks, wet cloth or towel as the smell of sulfur can also cause irritation.

"Motorists are advised to drive with extreme caution as ash can cause poor visibility and, when wet, can make roads slippery," the advisory adds.

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