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Phivolcs warns of Taal volcanic smog, acid rain  

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star
Phivolcs warns of Taal volcanic smog, acid rain   
Phivolcs said 13,572 tons per day of sulfur dioxide emissions, which produced ”significant volcanic smog” over the Taal caldera was recorded on Thursday.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — Citing increased sulfur dioxide emissions from Taal Volcano, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seisimology (Phivolcs) warned the public yesterday against volcanic smog or vog and acid rain.

Phivolcs said 13,572 tons per day of sulfur dioxide emissions, which produced ”significant volcanic smog” over the Taal caldera was recorded on Thursday.

Vog was observed between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Residents of Barangay Banyaga in Agoncillo; Poblacion 5, Boso-Boso and Gulod in Laurel, and Poblacion in Talisay, Batangas complained of sulfurous stench.

“As a reminder, vog consists of fine droplets containing volcanic gas... which is acidic and can cause irritation of the eyes, throat and respiratory tract with severities depending on gas concentration and duration of exposure,” Phivolcs said in an advisory.

Persons with health conditions such as asthma, lung disease and heart disease, as well as  the elderly, pregnant women and children were advised to avoid outdoor activities to protect themselves from vog.

Phivolcs said people should cover their nose, preferrably with an N95 face mask, and drink plenty of water and seek help from a doctor if serious effects are experienced.

Meanwhile, acid rain, which can be generated during rainfall, may cause damage to crops and affect metal roofs.

Damage to crops due to acid rain was reported in Cabuyao, Laguna.

Phivolcs said sulphur dioxide flux in Taal has averaged 7,818 tons per day since July 15, an increase of more than five times since May.

Degassing activity or upwelling of volcanic fluids in the main crater lake and emission of steam-rich plumes that rose up to 2,800 meters were observed on Thursday.

Five volcanic tremors that lasted for three to eight minutes were recorded.

Phivolcs said Taal remains under Alert Level 1. This means the volcano is still in abnormal condition and sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall and lethal accumulation or expulsion of volcanic gas can occur.

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