Sore throat, chest pains, cough for some in Batangas town amid Taal Volcano’s emissions increase

By GMA News

Several residents in Agoncillo, Batangas have experienced sore throat, chest pain, and cough after an increase in volcanic sulfur dioxide gas emissions from Taal Volcano last week.

According to a Balitanghali report on Thursday, residents reported the symptoms after inhaling smoke from the volcano. They also said that the emissions caused some  tree leaves to turn yellow.

According to the Taal Volcano Observatory, the high sulfur dioxide content in the plume may have caused what the residents experienced.

The volcanologist also advised the residents to limit exposure outside, close their windows, and wear face masks.

Meanwhile, the local government also distributed N95 face masks to residents.

On August 3, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology reported an increase in volcanic sulfur dioxide gas emissions from Taal Volcano, the highest since July 11.


PHIVOLCS said that airborne volcanic gas is expected to drift to the general northwest of Taal Volcano Island based on air parcel trajectory data from weather bureau PAGASA.

It said that volcanic smog or vog was also observed over the western Taal Caldera and reported to have been heavy in Laurel and Banyaga, Agoncillo, Batangas province.

A vog consists of droplets containing volcanic gas such as sulfur dioxide which is acidic and can cause “irritation of the eyes, throat, and respiratory tract in severities depending on the gas concentrations and durations of exposure,” according to PHIVOLCS.

PHIVOLCS advised residents to limit exposure to vog, particularly those with health conditions such as asthma, lung and heart diseases, as well as the elderly, pregnant women, and children. — Richa Noriega/BM, GMA News