How to Stay Safe During Volcanic Ashfall
Taal Volcano is one of the world’s smallest volcanoes, located just outside of the Philippines’ capital city. Despite its spectacular beauty, it’s also listed as the country’s second most active volcano. Taal Volcano began spewing ashes a few days ago, causing residents in and around the surrounding villages to evacuate.
With Taal’s ongoing volcanic activity, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has declared a state of calamity after raising the danger level to Level 4. This means that “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.”
Let’s all remind our loved ones to take extra care to stay safe during volcanic ashfall.
Here are some precautionary measures to consider during volcanic ashfall:
- Stay on top of the latest news and updates from reliable sources.
- Try to stay indoors with your pets. Ensure all doors and windows are closed.
- When driving, drive slowly and keep all windows closed. Your car’s air re-circulation doesn’t completely filter out ash debris. Clean your car’s air filter afterwards to remove particulates.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a mask. It is recommended to use the N95 mask for better filtration. When using a surgical mask, add layers of tissue or handkerchief inside.
- Wear protective goggles to protect your eyes from ash irritation. Avoid using contact lenses and use eyeglasses instead.
- When outside, wear long sleeved shirts, pants and closed shoes to prevent skin irritation.
- Before eating, make sure to wash your food thoroughly with distilled water.
- When experiencing health problems, consult your doctor immediately.
- For further questions, it is best to speak with local government units.
For any emergency, contact the following numbers:
- National Emergency Hotline: 911
- Philippine Red Cross: 143 or (02) 8527-8385 to 95
- PHIVOLCS: (02) 8426-1468 to 79