The Department of Health issued a public health warning regarding ashfall from Bulusan Volcano, which was placed under Alert Level 1 after a phreatic eruption on Sunday.
According to the DOH, the volcanic ash emitted by Bulusan Volcano in Sorsogon contains carbon dioxide and fluorine that can have a detrimental effect on human health if inhaled.
Affected residents were thus advised to:
- avoid direct exposure to volcanic ash;
- stay inside households and close doors and windows;
- keep the environment wet to prevent ambient dust and put damp curtains on windows and doors;
- avoid inhaling air with ashfall and use glasses or goggles;
- keep animals in closed shelters;
- remove ash from the roof of the house;
- know the situation of the roads before traveling and obey traffic laws
- prepare an emergency bag (Go Bag) and bring an adequate supply of water, food, clothing, first aid, and medicines;
- listen to the advice of local authorities on what to do next;
- always wear always wear a face mask, protective gear for the eyes, and coverings for the skin;
- wash hands properly before cooking and before eating;
- rinse vegetables and fruits with running water;
- cover water containers properly;
- ensure stored food have not expired;
- do not scratch or rub your eyes. If the eyes were irritated, rinse them with lukewarm and running water; and
- consult the doctor immediately if you have vision problems.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert status of Bulusan Volcano from 0 (normal) to Alert Level 1 (low-level unrest).
PHIVOLCS Director and Science Undersecretary Renato Solidum Jr. said the phreatic eruption occurred at 10:37 a.m.
Under Alert Level 1, the following may be observed in Bulusan Volcano, PHIVOLCS said in an explainer on its website:
- slight increase in volcanic earthquake and steam/gas activity;
- sporadic explosions from existing or new vents;
- notable increase in the temperature of hot springs; and
- slight inflation or swelling of the edifice.
This means "hydrothermal, magmatic or tectonic disturbances. The source of activity is shallow, near crater or in the vicinity of Irosin Caldera. Entry into the PDZ must be prohibited," it added.
In October 2016, Bulusan Volcano spewed ash for about 20 minutes covering four nearby barangays. —Mel Matthew Doctor/KG, GMA News