OCD cautions public vs. Taal 'vog' recurrence

By Priam Nepomuceno

October 10, 2023, 9:39 am

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) reminded the public to take precautionary measures as volcanic smog (vog) from the Taal Volcano has been detected again in various cities and towns in Batangas.

"Our regional counterpart in Calabarzon has been on alert to ensure the safety of the communities. The national government is ready to send assistance if necessary," OCD administrator Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno said in a statement Monday night.

Affected residents are advised to limit exposure by avoiding outdoor activities and staying indoors, closing doors and windows to block out the vog, drinking water to address throat irritation and to seek medical attention in case of emergency.

As of 11 a.m. Monday, vog was monitored in Balayan, Laurel, Agoncillo (Pansipit, Coral na Munti, Pamiga, Balangon, Bilibinwang), Rosario, San Pascual, Sto. Tomas, Calatagan, San Jose, Balete, Malvar, Alitagtag, Talisay, San Nicolas, Mataasnakahoy, Tuy, Lian, Nasugbu, Lemery, and cities of Calaca, Tanauan, Batangas.

Due to Taal's persistent emission of vog, classes were suspended in various areas in Batangas and nearby provinces including Cavite, Laguna and Rizal on Monday.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said vog consists of fine droplets containing volcanic gas such as sulfur dioxide which is acidic and can cause irritation of the eyes, throat and respiratory tract with severities depending on the gas concentrations and durations of exposure.

It warned that people who may be particularly sensitive to vog are those with health conditions such as asthma, lung disease and heart disease, the elderly, pregnant women and children. (PNA)