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DOH advises public to stay indoors, use dust masks vs Taal ashfall


The Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday released guidelines on how to deal with an ashfall following the phreatic explosion at the Taal Volcano.

In an advisory, the DOH explained that “volcanic ash consists of powder-size to sand-size particles that have been blown into the air by an erupting volcano.” 

Exposure to this ash may lead to health problems, especially for people who already have bronchitis, emphysema, or asthma.

The DOH listed the following as some of the health effects of volcanic ash:

  • Nose and throat irritation
  • Coughing
  • Bronchitis-like illness
  • Discomfort while breathing
  • Eye irritation
  • Minor skin problems

Injuries or death due to collapsing roofs or vehicular accidents resulting from slippery roads and poor visibility were also a danger.

In order to cope with volcanic ash, the DOH advised the public to take the following precautionary measures:

  • Minimize exposure to ash
  • Stay indoors as much as possible
  • Keep doors and windows closed
  • Keep home from infiltration by using damp curtains, blankets or clothing
  • Use dust masks
  • Wear goggles or eyeglasses to protect eyes from irritation
  • Keep pets in closed shelter
  • Clear your roof of ash
  • Observe traffic notifications and road safety measure

PHIVOLCS raised an Alert Level 3 on Taal Volcano, signifying “relatively high unrest manifested by seismic swarms including increasing occurrence of low frequency earthquakes and/or harmonic tremors." — Julia Mari Ornedo/DVM, GMA News