Residents near Taal Volcano warned of health risks after eruption | Inquirer News
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Residents near Taal Volcano warned of health risks after eruption

/ 11:39 AM July 02, 2021
Phreatomagmatic activity in Taal Volcano. Screengrab from Phivolcs

Phreatomagmatic activity in Taal Volcano. Screengrab from Phivolcs

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday reminded residents near the Taal Volcano to take precautions against the health risks posed by the increased activities of the volcano, which was placed on alert level 3 after a five-minute eruption.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the sulfur dioxide from the volcano is harmful when inhaled. She added that an ash fall may cause harm for those with asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema.

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According to Vergeire, sulfur dioxide can also cause skin and eye irritation and discomfort in breathing.

“Baka marami sa inyo ang nakakaranas ng parang mahirap huminga, mabigat ang dibdib o kaya ubo nang ubo, makati ang lalamunan at ilong. Ito ay maaaring epekto ng sinasabi natin na particles nitong sulfur dioxide emissions,” she explained in an online media briefing.

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(Maybe some of you have difficulty in breaching, coughing, or have an itchy nose and throat. These could be effects of the particles from the sulfur dioxide emissions.)

Vergeire advised residents near the Taal Volcano to wear N95 face masks and close their houses’ windows and doors.

She said residents should stay indoors, but if ever they need to go out, they should wear goggles and long clothing to avoid eye and skin irritation.

The Taal Volcano was placed on alert level 3 after a five-minute eruption on Thursday afternoon. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the volcano released a “dark phreatomagmatic plume” estimated to be one kilometer high.

However, Phivolcs director Undersecretary Renato Solidum earlier said that ashfall was not expected to threaten nearby towns and provinces since the plume from the eruption did not rise very high.

Some residents of various towns in Batangas near the volcano have been evacuated in the wake of the latest eruption.

EDV

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TAGS: Department of Health, sulfur dioxide, Taal Volcano, toxic fumes
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