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OCD reiterates Taal Vog warnings; assures support to affected areas

QUEZON CITY --  Along with the assurance of readiness to support the affected areas, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) is reiterating the precautionary measures amid the presence of Taal's volcanic smog or vog in various cities and municipalities in Batangas.

"Taal vog was once again monitored yesterday. We remind the residents to take precautionary measures. Rest assured that the OCD is actively monitoring the activity of the volcano and the situation in the affected areas. 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." said Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno, Civil Defense Administrator.

Affected residents are once again 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.

Meanwhile, OCD IV-A earlier convened the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) CALABARZON to coordinate situation updates and response operations following the recent emission of volcanic smog. The said meeting was also joined by Local DRRMOs in the province.

As of 11:00AM yesterday, 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 persistent emission of smog, class suspensions for October 9, 2023, Monday were declared in various areas of Batangas and nearby provinces including Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.

To protect the communities from health hazards, as of today, a total of 96,800 face masks from OCD and the Department of Health (DOH) have been provided to Batangas, Cavite and Laguna.

OCD, other government agencies, and the Local Government Units (LGUs) continue to cascade warnings for safety precautions and monitor vog-related health cases.

To date, the DOH has reported a total of 714 cases of respiratory complaints (Cavite - 49, Laguna - 16, Batangas - 638, Rizal - 11) due to the vog. Affected residents reported experiencing sore throat, difficulty of breathing, cough, and other symptoms

"Vog consists of fine droplets containing volcanic gas such as SO2 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. 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,” the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said. (OCD)

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Kate Shiene Austria

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Information Officer III under the Creative and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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