DOH urges residents of affected areas to mask up and gear up amid Kanlaon Volcano eruption

Volcanoes are awe-inspiring natural wonders, but when they erupt, they can unleash a shower of ash or form a cloud of Sulfur dioxide (SO2) that can wreak havoc on your health. Like what happened last Monday, June 3, 2024, at 6:50PM, the Kanlaon Volcano in Negros, erupted. Based on available information, the recent eruption of Kanlaon Volcano is unlikely to directly affect Cebu City in a major way. However, the local governments in western Cebu, which faces Negros Island, are on alert and have advised residents to stay vigilant as well.

DOH urges residents of affected areas to mask up and gear up amid Kanlaon Volcano eruption | CebuFinest
“Mask up” DOH told residents for safety amid Kanlaon eruption; SO2 cloud reaches Visayas [Photo credit: Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images]

Mask Up and Gear Up: DOH’s Call to Action After Kanlaon Eruption

By following a few simple steps from the Department of Health (DOH), you can shield yourself from the worst effects of volcanic ash and/or Sulfur dioxide scattered into the stratosphere. They can irritate your lungs, so keeping them protected is key. Here’s how to do it:

  • Mask Up: Wear a proper fitting N95 mask to filter out ash particles. If you don’t have one, a damp cloth covering your nose and mouth can offer some protection.
  • Double Down for Respiratory Issues: If you have asthma or COPD, make sure you have a sufficient supply of your inhaler medication and use it as prescribed by your doctor. Any difficulty breathing warrants an immediate visit to a doctor or health center.

They can irritate your eyes, too. Here’s how to keep them safe:

  • Goggle Up: Safety goggles are ideal for eye protection, but if unavailable, regular glasses are better than contacts.
  • Don’t Rub: It might be tempting to rub itchy eyes, but resist! Rinse them gently with clean, lukewarm running water if they become irritated.

Volcanic ash and sulfur dioxide can contaminate your food and water sources, so follow these tips:

  • Seal the Deal: Keep your food and water containers tightly sealed to prevent contamination.
  • Wash Up Regularly: Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water, especially before eating and preparing food.
Kanlaon eruption displaces nearly 800 people | CebuFinest
Nearly 800 people were evacuated after Mount Kanlaon on Negros island erupted on Monday evening; The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised Alert Level 2, indicating increasing unrest, over Kanlaon after it sent a five-kilometer plume of ash, gas, and rocks into the sky. [Photo credit: Dollet Demaflies; PhilStar Global]

ALSO READ: Kanlaon Volcano Erupts, Alert Level Raised As Authorities Advise Caution

Listen Up! Stay Informed

For the latest updates on the Kanlaon Volcano situation, follow the DOST-PHIVOLCS [Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology] social media pages on Facebook, and on X (formerly Twitter).

Volcanic eruptions can be scary, but by following these simple steps and staying informed, you can significantly reduce your health risks. Remember, your health is in your hands – be prepared and stay safe!

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