The Department of Health (DOH) cautioned the public against the health hazards caused by the ongoing ash fall from the eruption of Taal Volcano.
In an advisory on Sunday evening, the DOH said the effects of the ash fall range from irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, coughing, bronchitis-like illness, discomfort while breathing, skin irritation, and minor skin problems.
“If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention at the nearest health facility,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said.
Aside from such health risks, the DOH said ash fall may also result in accidents such as collapsed roofs or vehicular crashes brought by slippery roads.
To mitigate these health risks and accidents, the public is advised to avoid going out of their homes and to close all windows and doors, hang damp curtains on windows and doors to avoid the entry of ash, use a dust mask or a cover for nose and mouth, use eye protection such as goggles, place pets and other animals in safe locations, clean fallen ash from the roof to avoid collapse, be updated on the latest situation before traveling, and to obey all traffic laws.
The DOH recommended the use of N95 masks for protection, to turn off air conditioning and fans to keep ash and gases from getting inside the house and to remain alert and prepare for evacuation.
“For those evacuating, exercise caution when driving in low visibility, and bring extra water for cleaning your front mirrors in case of heavy ash fall,” Duque said.
On Monday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said Taal Volcano remained on the brink of a possible “hazardous eruption” after it created at least 75 earthquakes as of 4:30 a.m., with the strongest at Intensity 6.
Due to the eruption’s hazardous effects, Malacañang ordered the suspension of classes and government work on Monday in Calabarzon (Region 4-A), the National Capital Region, and Central Luzon (Region 3). (PNA)