MANILA, Philippines– Phivolcs now says there is evidence that the volcanic sulfur dioxide from Taal Volcano spread over Metro Manila and nearby provinces causing a hazy atmosphere this week.
Citing new data, the state volcanologists clarified their stand a day after they announced that human-made pollution was the source of the haze despite recording the highest sulfur dioxide (S02) emission from the restive volcano.
“Our Institute had initially negated these observations due to the lack of substantiating evidence… In view of the scientific data, we stand to acknowledge evidence of the actual wider extents that volcanic SO2 have actually spread over the NCR and adjoining provinces.”Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology
The web portals for NASA’s Ozone Mapping Instrument (OMI) on the Aura platform and the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) on the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership Satellite reported that SO2 plumes spread over Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, and the National Capital Region on Monday and Tuesday.
Phivolcs took responsibility for its earlier statements that led to confusion, saying it “gives credence to the many observations” of the public.
Volcanic smog may cause health problems such as irritation of the eyes, throat, and respiratory tract. The severity of the effects depends on the gas concentrations and duration of exposure.
Volcanic smog may cause health problems such as irritation of the skin and mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and throat, and can penetrate airways, producing respiratory distress in some individuals.
Aerosol particles of sulfur dioxide can also penetrate deep into human lungs and, at elevated levels, can induce symptoms of asthma.
Physical complaints associated with volcanic smog exposure include headaches, breathing difficulties, increased susceptibility to respiratory ailments, watery eyes, sore throat, flu-like symptoms, and a general lack of energy.
Alert Level 2 (or increased unrest) prevails over Taal Volcano. This means the threat of sudden steam or gas-driven explosions and lethal accumulations or expulsion of volcanic gas may occur anytime and threaten areas within the Taal Volcano Island.