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How to Protect Yourself from Volcanic Emissions, Ashfall

As Taal Volcano exhibits 'magmatic unrest'.
by Erwin Colcol
5 hours ago
Photo/s: Joel Guinto

The Department of Health advised those living near Taal Volcano and other high-risk areas to avoid making unnecessary travels and wear protective gear after the volcano was raised to Alert Level 3 following a "short-lived burst" of water and magma on Saturday.

Since the first eruption between 7:22 a.m. and 8:59 a.m. on Saturday, two phreatomagmatic events have recorded at the Taal Volcano at 4:34 a.m. and 5:04 a.m. on Sunday, producing 800 meter and 400-meter-tall plumes, respectively, Phivolcs said in its advisory.

A phreatomagmatic eruption occurs when magma or molten rocks interact with water.

Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 3, which signifies "magmatic unrest" and comes before Level 4, or an imminent eruption, and Level 5 which means an eruption is in progress.

The DOH warned the public against exposure to sulfur dioxide emissions and ashfall, which can harm the respiratory system.

When you get exposed to sulfur dioxide emissions, you may experience the following symptoms, according to DOH:

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  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Skin irritation
  • Eye irritation
  • Mucus secretion
  • Aggravated bronchitis
  • Increased risk of respiratory tract infection
  • Coughing
  • Asthma

Here's what you can do to avoid exposure to sulfur dioxide emissions:

  • Avoid unnecessary going out of homes
  • Close the doors and windows most especially if you are living near the caldera of the Taal Volcano
  • Always wear face mask, protective gears for year eyes, and coverings for your skin

Ashfall is made up of power-size to sand particles that have been blown into the air following a volcanic eruption. Exposure to ashfall may result in health problems and aggravate the condition of those suffering from respiratory illnesses, the DOH said.

These are the health effects of exposure to ashfall:

  • Nose and throat irritation
  • Coughing
  • Bronchitis-like illness
  • Discomfort while breathing
  • Eye irritation
  • Minor skin problems
  • Injuries/death due to roof collapse or vehicular accident resulting from slippery roads and poor visibility

Here's how you can minimize the health effects of ashfall:

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  • Stay indoors as much as possible
  • Keep doors and windows closed
  • Keep home from infiltration by using damp curtains, blankets or clothing
  • Use dust or N95 masks
  • Wear goggles or eyeglasses to protect eyes from irritation
  • Keep pets in closed shelters
  • Dampen ash in your yard to prevent it from billowing up into the air
  • Clear your roof of ash
  • Observe traffic notifications and road safety measures


Volcanoes are Like People and Taal Eruptions Follow This Pattern

How to Protect Yourself From the Taal Volcanic Smog

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