THE Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday reminded the public to remain vigilant and cautious as ashfall is currently being experienced in light of Taal Volcano’s escalated eruptive activity.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III urged the public to always heed warnings and advisories from local authorities.
Adverse health effects from a volcanic eruption can be avoided if warnings are diligently heeded, he said.
Taal volcano continued to generate a 10-15 kilometer-high steam-laden eruptive plume accompanied by volcanic lightning, tremors, and earthquakes felt in nearby barangays of Agoncillo, Batangas.
Ashfall is currently being experienced in surrounding areas. Alert Level 4 (imminent hazardous eruption) has been raised by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
DOH urged residents of Taal Volcano Island and nearby barangays of Agoncillo and Laurel towns in Batangas to immediately evacuate as advised by Phivolcs.
Communities around Taal Lake were also advised to take precautions and to be vigilant in case the situation escalates.
Conditions which may be experienced after exposure to volcanic ash and gases include nose and throat irritation, coughing, bronchitis-like illness, discomfort while breathing, eye irritation, and minor skin problems.
“If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention at the nearest health facility,” Duque advised citizens.
The public was also reminded to remain indoors and minimize outdoor activities. If venturing outside cannot be avoided, people are advised to use an N95 mask and wear protective clothing including goggles.
“I also advise everyone to turn off the air conditioning and fans, close windows and doors to keep ash and gases from getting inside the house, and to remain alert and prepared to evacuate, if advised. For those evacuating, exercise caution when driving in low visibility, and bring extra water for cleaning your front mirrors in case of heavy ashfall,” Duque concluded.