Solidum claims that the haze in the NCR is caused by Taal and “human activity.”
Apart from “human activities” that contributed to the haze observed in these areas, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) acknowledged on Wednesday that the Taal volcanic smog (vog) had reached Metro Manila and nearby provinces. The vog was caused by the eruption of Mount Taal.
Phivolcs issued a statement on Tuesday, claiming that the smoke seen in Metro Manila was not caused by the Taal Volcano. On Wednesday, however, it said that, based on publicly available satellite data for volcanic sulfur dioxide (SO2), it had been discovered that plumes have expanded across Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga, Batan, Zambales, and the National Capital Region.
This was followed by the statement, “Satellite detection on June 29, 2021 revealed an even greater covering of Luzon.”
According to Phivolcs, “in light of the scientific data obtained from the aforementioned satellite platforms, the DOST stands to acknowledge evidence of the greater extent to which volcanic SO2 has actually spread over the National Capital Region and adjoining provinces, as well as giving credence to the many observations that the general public has communicated.”
In an interview with the Philippine News Agency, Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum, Jr. discussed the date of the appearance of smog in Metro Manila as well as the time when the sulfur dioxide (SO2) was distributed by the volcano.
“Vehicle emissions and other human activities, it is certain, have a major role in the emergence of pollution in metropolitan areas. A distinct indication that pollution was rising from the ground level could be observed. This was particularly evident in the mornings when pollution blanketed the whole metropolis “he said.
According to him, the presence of warmer air as a consequence of a temperature inversion, which began on June 26 and lasted on June 30, according to the meteorological bureau’s records, exacerbated the pollution in Metro Manila caused by car emissions and other human activities.
“This warm air inhibits the ascent of cold, heavier air laden with contaminants from reaching the surface. Pollution and smoke have been confined from the ground and below the warm air layer, which has contributed to the buildup of smog over the National Capital Region and surrounding provinces “Solidum provided an explanation.
According to the official, the air quality in the National Capital Region has deteriorated since June 26, despite the fact that there was no SO2 dispersion over Metro Manila as shown in satellite photos.
“In accordance with measurements, the SO2 emission from Taal Volcano on June 28 recorded 14,326 tonnes per day, and the volcanic plume reached a height of 3 kilometers and drifted to the northeast. However, according to NASA satellite data published yesterday afternoon and analyzed last night, SO2 was distributed across the National Capital Region and surrounding provinces on June 28, contributing to the foggy state in the air mass above the ground “Solidum expressed himself.
Moreover, he emphasized that Phivolcs’s claims are based on real observations of pollution in Metro Manila, as well as data that they currently have on hand.
“Given the recent data gathered, it was necessary to provide a complete scenario, which included smog caused by pollution made worse by temperature inversion, as well as an additional contribution to haze from SO2 gas dispersed over the National Capital Region and other provinces,” Solidum explained in a statement.
Volcanic ash (vog) is a kind of air pollution that is produced by volcanoes. This aerosol is composed of tiny droplets containing acidic volcanic gases such as SO2, which cause irritation of the eyes, throat, and respiratory system in varying degrees of severity depending on the gas concentrations and exposure times.
Phivolcs reported vog above the Taal caldera on Monday and Tuesday, according to their reports.