WARNING SIGN. A steam-rich plume degassed from the Taal Volcano main crater is captured by the security camera of the Lipa Archdiocesan Social Action Center from Barrio Barigon in Agoncillo, Batangas on Friday (Aug. 12, 2022). The Lipa Archdiocese is asking for donations of N-95 masks for residents living near the volcano. (Photo courtesy of LASAC/CBCP)

MANILA – The Lipa Archdiocesan Social Action Center (LASAC) in Batangas province is asking for donations of N-95 masks as Taal Volcano has been emitting sulphur dioxide the past days.

In a statement at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website on Friday, LASAC said the face masks will be provided to residents living near the volcano.

“There is still a need for N95 (masks), especially the areas near the Taal Volcano,” the group said.

Donors of face masks may bring their donations to LASAC’s headquarters at St. Francis de Sales Major Seminary compound in Lipa City.

Experts say an N95 mask offers a high level of protection as it filters out both large and small particles when the wearer inhales.

As of the 5 a.m. Saturday bulletin of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), Taal Volcano is under Alert Level 1.

Entry to Taal Volcano Island (Permanent Danger Zone), especially the Main Crater and Daang Kastila fissures, is not allowed.

Likewise prohibited are occupancy and boating on Taal Lake, and flying any aircraft close to the volcano.

Possible hazards that can occur include steam-driven or phreatic or gas-driven explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas, according to Phivolcs. (PNA)