DOH cautions public on health effects of Taal ashfall

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com
DOH cautions public on health effects of Taal ashfall
A man points at the ashfall that covered a car in Langgam, San Pedro, Laguna on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, as Taal Volcano spewed plumes and rock fragments to nearby areas.
The STAR / Mong Pintolo

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health cautioned the public of the possible health problems that exposure to volcanic ash may bring after Taal Volcano spewed plumes Sunday.

As of Sunday evening, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has raised the alert status of the volcano to Alert Level 4 indicating "hazardous eruption imminent."

The DOH released an advisory that volcanic ash, which may contain powder-size to sand-size particles, may cause some health problems.

Those who are suffering from bronchitis, emphysema or asthma are advised to avoid exposure to volcanic ash.

Among the effects of volcanic ash are nose and throat irritation, coughing, bronchitis-like illness, discomfort while breathing and eye irritation.

Exposure to volcanic ash may also cause minor skin problems and injuries or death due to roof collapse or vehicular accident due to slippery roads and poor visibility, the Health department said.

To cope with ashfall, the DOH advised residents in affected areas to minimize exposure to ash by staying indoors as much as possible; keeping doors and windows closed; using damp curtains, blankets or clothing to avoid infiltration at home and using dust masks.

The DOH also recommended wearing goggles or eyeglasses to protect the eyes from irritation and to keep pets in a closed shelter.

The public was also advised to clear their roofs of ash and to observe traffic notifications and road safety measures.

Several areas near Taal volcano have also announced class suspensions for Monday.

As of 5:30 p.m., Taal volcano's main crater has generated a 10 to 15-kilometer steam-laden tephra column with frequent volcanic lightning that brought wet ashfall on the general north as far as Quezon City, Phivolcs said.

"Areas in the general north of Taal Volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall," Phivolcs said.

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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: October 12, 2023 - 6:26pm

Get updates as Phivolcs issues warnings over activity in Taal Volcano. (Main photo by Philstar.com/Rosette Adel)

October 12, 2023 - 6:26pm

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology issues a notice reporting an increased and continuous degassing activity from Taal Volcano.

In its 6 p.m. advisory, Phivolcs says the sulfur dioxide emission from the main crater reached 9762 tonnes per day. This was the higher recorded this year.

Phivolcs adds that there was no smog or vog observed. — Rosette Adel

October 11, 2023 - 5:21pm

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology says Taal Volcano is still under Alert Level 1.

In an update on Wednesday, its says that the daily sulfur dioxide emissions (SO2) reached 2887 tonnes / day (06 October 2023).

Phivolcs also observes upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in the Main Crater Lake. — Rosette Adel

October 9, 2023 - 4:12pm

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology reports that Taal Volcano's daily sulfur dioxide emissions (SO2) reached 2887 tonnes.

It observes upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in the Main Crater Lake as well as volcanic smog or vog.

The volcano's emissions are also 2400 meters tall. — Rosette Adel

October 8, 2023 - 4:04pm

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology releases time-lapse snapshots of degassing activity from the Taal Main Crater and volcanic smog or vog formation on Sunday.

These were taken from 5:45 a.m. to 11:42 a.m. by the Mt. Macolot, Cuenca, Batangas station (VTCU) IP Camera.

— Rosette Adel

September 26, 2023 - 12:28pm

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology records daily sulfur dioxide emissions that reached 2730 tonnes / day (22 September 2023).

It also observes upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in the Main Crater Lake and observed VOG.

Phivolcs adds that there is a ong-term deflation of the Taal Caldera; short-term inflation of the northern flanks of the Taal Volcano Island.


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