Phivolcs said Wednesday that the volcanic smog or vog from the Taal Volcano has reached Metro Manila and Central Luzon provinces.
Vog contains volcanic gas such as sulfur dioxide, which can irritate the eyes, throat, and respiratory tract, it said.
Steam and sulfur dioxide (SO2) spewed by the voolcano, located 80 kilometers south of the capital, reached a height of 20 kilometers above sea level. On Monday, it recorded the highest SO2 emission at 14,326 tons.
On Tuesday, the vog was monitored in the following areas, according to state seismologists:
- Metro Manila
- Camarines Norte
- Camarines Sur
- La Union
- Nueva Ecija
- Nueva Vizcaya
Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum told ANC that the high emission of sulfur dioxide could boost possibility of a steam or gas explosion. He warned residents living near or in the Taal Caldera to take precautionary measures and be on alert for further instructions.
Solidum also shared safety tips to residents living in affected areas so that they could protect themselves from the vog:
- Stay indoors, especially the elderly, pregnant women, children and those with asthma or other health conditions.
- Keep the windows and doors closed to block out the vog.
- If going out, wear face masks. Phivolcs recommends wearing N95 masks or medical-grade face masks.
- Drink plenty of water to reduce irritation to eyes, throat, and respiratory system.
- If situation worsens, evacuate to safer areas.
He also told local government units (LGUs) to have a health check for residents living near the caldera who might be experiencing respiratory irritation.