A restive volcano near Manila in the Philippines emitted above average sulfur dioxide and volcanic smog on Friday, leading to the closure of schools in numerous cities and towns and urging people to stay indoors. The state volcanology and seismology institute observed the upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in the Taal volcano’s crater lake, resulting in the release of volcanic gases. The capital region was also covered in haze due to heavy pollution. The alert level remained at 1, indicating a slight increase in volcanic earthquake and steam or gas activity. Taal volcano, located in Batangas province near Manila, is one of the most active volcanoes in the country.
Kennard Kaagbay, a tricycle driver in the province, experienced throat irritation from the volcanic smog. He mentioned that the air quality is harmful for him to inhale due to his asthma. Additionally, the smog has caused a decrease in passengers for tricycle drivers like him. An aerial view showed smog enveloping the coastal town of Talisay in Batangas Province.
In January 2020, Taal volcano erupted, releasing a column of ash and steam that reached a height of 15 km (9.32 miles). This forced over 100,000 people to evacuate and resulted in numerous flight cancellations as heavy ash fell even in Manila. Randy Dela Paz, the operations section chief of the civil defense’s southern Manila office, reported cases of respiratory illnesses in the province due to intoxication from the volcanic smog. Volcanic smog, also known as vog, contains fine droplets with volcanic gases like sulfur, which can cause irritation in the eyes, throat, and respiratory tract.
Classes were suspended in several cities in the capital region, as well as in numerous towns and cities in Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas provinces. The aviation authority advised pilots to avoid flying near the volcano’s summit. The Philippines is located in the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an area prone to volcanic activity and earthquakes.
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