Phivolcs: Metro Manila haze due to pollution, not Taal Volcano

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) clarified on Tuesday, June 29, that the haze in Metro Manila came from pollution and not Taal Volcano.

Speculations had spread online that the volcanic smog or vog from Taal in the province of Batangas had reached the capital region. The volcano is around 60 kilometers south of Metro Manila.

"Ang malabong kapaligiran o haze na naranasan sa Metro Manila ay smog o dulot ng polusyon galing sa human activities at hindi galing sa Taal Volcano," Phivolcs said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

(The haze experienced in Metro Manila was smog or caused by pollution from human activities and not from Taal Volcano.)

AIR POLLUTION. Ortigas Center, June 29, 2021.

Michelle Abad/Rappler

SMOG. View taken from Makati City, June 29, 2021.

Chay F. Hofileña/Rappler

Phivolcs had warned of vog observed over Taal Volcano on Monday, June 28.

The vog is due to the volcano's emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2), a major gas component of magma.

In a bulletin issued 8 am on Tuesday, Phivolcs said SO2 emission averaged at 14,326 tons per day on Monday. This is a significant increase from the already high average of 4,771 tons per day recorded last Sunday, June 27.

"Magmatic unrest continues to occur at shallow depths beneath the edifice," added Phivolcs.

Taal Volcano has been under Alert Level 2 since March 9 due to the increased unrest.

The following could occur under Alert Level 2:

  • sudden steam- or gas-driven explosions
  • volcanic earthquakes
  • minor ashfall
  • lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas

Phivolcs earlier warned that exposure to vog may "cause irritation of the eyes, throat, and respiratory tract."

Taal Volcano's last eruption was in January 2020. –