Metro Manila's air quality gets better after Taal ashfall

taal eruption
Data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources showed that Metro Manila's air quality on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, improved a day after it reported "unhealthy" amounts of Particulate Matter 10, or PM10, in the cities of Taguig, Mandaluyong and Las Piñas.
The STAR / Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — Latest Department of Environment and Natural Resources data showed that Metro Manila's air quality has improved Tuesday, a day after it reported that amounts of inhalable Particulate Matter 10 have surged to "unhealthy" levels in parts of the metro as Taal Volcano spewed plumes and ash.

DENR had reported Monday afternoon that air quality was "unhealthy for sensitive groups" in the cities of Taguig, Mandaluyong and Las Piñas. On Tuesday afternoon, however, the agency reported that air quality in the metro ranges from excellent to fair.

PM10 is used to refer to respirable particles 10 micrometers or less in diameter. The term is often used to measure air quality where inhalable particles including ash are concerned. Areas with higher levels of PM10 may be dangerous for those with health problems such as bronchitis, emphysema or asthma, the DENR previously said. Thus, the lower the PM10 level, the better the quality of air is. 

Here is the latest air quality update from the DENR, according to its Air Quality Monitoring System as of 2 p.m. on Tuesday. 

Excellent Air Quality 

  • Pasig (PM10 = -1)
  • Muntinlupa (PM10 = -1)

Good Air Quality 

  • Malabon (PM10 = 16)
  • North Caloocan (PM10 = 15)
  • Pasay Station (PM10 = 43)
  • San Juan (PM10 = 3)

Moderate/Fair Air Quality 

  • Las Pinas (PM10 = 53)
  • Makati (PM10 = 52)
  • Mandaluyong (PM10 = 81)
  • Marikina (PM10 = 77)
  • Navotas (PM10 = 56)
  • Paranaque (PM10 = 66)
  • Pateros (PM10 = 60)
  • Taguig (PM10 = 81)

Alert level 4 remains hoisted at Taal Volcano, which indicated that a hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days, since its phreatic eruption last Sunday. Phreatic eruptions can be understood as “steam-blast” eruptions as these produce only steam and not magma. Consequently, the ensuing ash fall affected the quality of breathable air as far as Metro Manila. — Franco Luna

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