The smog that enveloped Metro Manila on Friday has disappeared, the weather bureau reported on Saturday.
According to Juanito Galang, chief of the Weather Division of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the downpour caused by the southwest monsoon or “habagat” and low-pressure area experienced Friday night until Saturday morning has weakened the smog.
“So right now, we can see… that it has weakened a bit or is clearing a bit. It rained heavily this morning or last night. That’s a factor that the wind is moving a bit compared to yesterday,” he said at the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City. “So gradually, we will notice that it is getting clear here in Metro Manila.”
The smog that covered many parts of Metro Manila and some areas of Central Luzon was also not caused by volcanic smog or vog from Taal volcano, Galang added.
Technically, he said, it was called photochemical smog that comes from pollutants, such as emissions of vehicles and industries.
The geographical location of Metro Manila is also a factor, he said.
On Thursday and Friday, the vog that covered the volcano has cleared, Bacolcol said, “but this will be a recurring threat. As long as the Taal Volcano is spewing sulfur dioxide, the threat will always be there.”
Galang reminded the public to wear a face mask if such a phenomenon recurs.
In Batangas, local officials are reportedly studying placing the province under a state of emergency as towns deal with the thick volcanic smog.
Vice Governor Mark Leviste said Saturday that the state of emergency would help local government tap into their disaster and emergency funds.
Based on its most recent vog advisory posted on Thursday afternoon, Phivolcs said volcanic smog has lingered over the Taal Region “since the first week of September.”
Volcanologists on Saturday meanwhile warned that while volcanic fog or vog from have dissipated, it may recur anytime due to the continued
activity of the lake volcano.
Director Teresito Bacolcol of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said that of Saturday morning the vog that enveloped the volcano’s caldera was gone.