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Protecting Health Amidst the Eruption of Kanlaon Volcano

Kanlaon Volcano
The recent eruption of Kanlaon Volcano has prompted the Department of Health (DOH) to issue essential advice on safeguarding residents against ashfall and other hazards emanating from the eruption.
In a statement released this Tuesday, the department emphasized the importance of heeding the advice of local authorities and evacuating promptly if necessary.
But first, as we proceed, let’s get to know the…

Mount Kanlaon

Kanlaon Volcano, also known as Mount Kanlaon, is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines. It’s located on the island of Negros in the Visayas region. Standing at approximately 2,435 meters (7,989 feet) above sea level, Kanlaon is the highest peak in the Visayas.

Here are some key details and information about Kanlaon Volcano:

1. Location

Situated within the boundaries of the provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, Kanlaon Volcano is part of the larger Mount Kanlaon Natural Park.

2. Activity

Kanlaon is classified as a stratovolcano, characterized by its steep-sided conical shape built up by many layers of hardened lava, pumice, and volcanic ash. It’s known for its frequent eruptions, with the most recent significant eruption occurring in 2018.

3. Eruption History

The volcano has a long history of eruptions, with recorded eruptions dating back to the 1600s. Its eruptions have varied in intensity, from mild ash emissions to more explosive events.

4. Hazards

Due to its active nature, Kanlaon poses various hazards to the surrounding communities, including pyroclastic flows, ashfall, lahars (mudflows), and volcanic gases. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) closely monitors its activity and issues alerts and advisories to ensure public safety.

5. Ecological Importance

Despite its volatile nature, the area around Kanlaon Volcano is rich in biodiversity and is home to diverse flora and fauna. The Mount Kanlaon Natural Park serves as an important habitat for numerous endemic and endangered species.

6. Tourism and Recreation

Despite the risks associated with its activity, Kanlaon attracts adventurous climbers and trekkers who seek to summit its peak and explore the surrounding natural beauty. However, access to the volcano is regulated, and climbers are required to secure permits and adhere to safety guidelines.

Kanlaon Volcano stands not only as a geological wonder but also as a reminder of the dynamic forces shaping the landscape of the Philippines.

Now here are the…

Kanlaon Volcano’s Eruption Safety Measures

Here are some measures to mitigate the adverse effects of ashfall and other hazardous emissions from the volcano:

  1. Sealing Doors and Windows: Keep doors and windows tightly shut to prevent ash and gases from infiltrating indoor spaces.
  2. Use Wet Curtains or Clothes as Shields: Employ wet curtains or garments to cover any gaps that ash or gases could penetrate.
  3. Wear Masks or Use Wet Cloth to Cover Nose and Mouth: Properly wear masks or utilize damp cloth to shield the nose and mouth from inhaling harmful particles.
  4. For Individuals with Respiratory Conditions: Ensure an adequate supply of inhaler medicines and use them as prescribed by a doctor. Consult a physician or visit a health center if experiencing difficulty in breathing.

Protecting the Eyes

  1. Wear Safety Goggles: Utilize safety goggles to shield the eyes from ash particles and debris.
  2. Avoid Using Contact Lenses: Refrain from using contact lenses and opt for eyeglasses, especially if experiencing blurred vision.
  3. Avoid Rubbing the Eyes: Resist the urge to rub the eyes to prevent irritation. Rinse irritated eyes with clean, lukewarm water, and seek medical attention if the problem persists.

Protecting Food Supplies

  1. Practice Hand Hygiene: Wash hands thoroughly before cooking and eating.
  2. Clean Fruits and Vegetables: Rinse fruits and vegetables with running water.
  3. Check Expiry Dates of Canned and Stored Food: Inspect the expiry dates of canned and stored food items.
  4. Securely Cover Food Containers: Ensure food containers are tightly sealed to prevent contamination.
  5. Seek Medical Attention for Digestive Issues: Immediately consult a doctor or visit a health center upon experiencing stomach pain or diarrhea.

Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa highlighted the DOH’s proactive response, mentioning the dispatch of essential supplies such as face masks, safety goggles, hygiene kits, water cans, and tents to affected areas near Kanlaon Volcano. Moreover, nearby hospitals have been put on Code White, emphasizing the importance of vigilance and adherence to local government advisories.

The eruption has led to the evacuation of nearly 800 individuals in Western Visayas, prompting authorities to elevate the alert level to 2. As the situation unfolds, it’s crucial for residents to stay informed, heed official warnings, and prioritize their health and safety above all else.

 

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Written by Marjo Piedad

Traveler | Foodie | CONTENT EDITOR
📍Cebu, Philippines
 
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