Philippines issues health warning as capital hit by smog, volcanic gas

September 23, 2023 11:45 am

[Source: Reuters]

The alert remained at level 1 on a five-level scale, denoting a “slight increase in volcanic earthquake, and steam or gas activity”.

Located in a scenic lake in Batangas province near Manila, the 311-metre (1,020-foot) Taal is among the most active of 24 volcanoes in the Philippines.

Kennard Kaagbay, a tricycle driver in the province, has complained of throat irritation from the volcanic smog.

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“It’s bad for me to inhale the air because I have asthma. Our passengers don’t go out as well because of the (smog), so we don’t get much passengers recently,” Kaagbay said.

In January 2020, Taal volcano spewed a column of ash and steam as high as 15 km (9.32 miles), forcing more than 100,000 people to evacuate and dozens of flight cancellations as heavy ash fell as far away as Manila.

Randy Dela Paz, operations section chief of the civil defence’s southern Manila office, told DWPM radio they received reports of respiratory illnesses in the province due to intoxication from the volcanic smog.