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Batangas, Metro Manila cities and other adjoining towns and cities are now experiencing ash fall from Taal Volcano. And some Palawan folks could not help but look back when the ash fall of Mt. Pinatubo that erupted in 1991 reached the island.
The volcanic ash reached the soil of Puerto Princesa and some nearby municipalities in the early morning of June 17, shocking many who didn’t know the volcano in Luzon erupted.
Many recall the incidents as the snowfall in Palawan, and there was no climate change issue 29 years ago but many kids of that time believe it was like we are transported to north pole, and it was cold month and raining so many assume its snowflakes that cover all the roof of all residential and building in the City.
In an archived thread in an online group Batang Puerto Princesa, many shared happy moments when ashfall reached Palawan.
“Akala ko nga may snow sa Puerto, pero di kami payagan lumabas ng bahay kasi ash fall pala yun,” Carissa Bautista said on her comment.
“June 16, 1991 ilang minute bago mag June 17, madaling araw naglalakad kami sa Rizal Avenue pauwi panay abo ang ulo namin, akala namin may sumabog lang na mga sako ng semento,” Lyle Coruna said.
We were tuned in to the local radio station DYPR who broke the news that the ash came from the Pinatubo eruptions, but there was no panic on putting face mask, we rarely heard stories that they are having a problem in breathing. Of course, there were some who experienced asthma attacks. I remember that time that many kids gather in their basketball court of each barangay playing with it and collect the dust and put it in a sack, some elders believe it is a good fertilizer for plants.
“Kala ko snow ang saya namin ng tropa ko, pero nagtaka kami di malamig ayun sabi abo galing sa bulkan,” Zaguirto Zandi said.
“Ang dilim ng paligid akala mo madaling araw pa rin, pati mga sasakyan di halos makita pagtumawid ka ng kalsada, ang linis ng Rizal avenue walang naglalakad ang mga bubong ng bahay puno ng ash, kalahating sako naipon namin sa haws sa Sea Plane Base 1,” Lourdes Tesorio Alcantara explained on her comment.
But the recent Taal ash fall is different compared to the old days, perhaps due to many pollutants we have now in the air if in case it reaches Palawan this time, Volcanic ash consists of powder size to sand particles that are blown in the air by an erupting volcano, health effects are nose and throat irritation, coughing, bronchitis like illness, discomfort while breathing, eye irritation, minor skin problems, injured death due to roof collapse or resulting to vehicular accidents.
As per Department of Health, we have to minimize our exposure to ash, stay indoors, keep doors and windows closed, keep home from infiltration by using damp curtains, blankets, use dust masks or N95 mask, wear goggles or eyeglasses to protect eyes, keep pets in closed shelters, dampen ash from your yard to prevent it from billowing up into the air, and observe traffic notifications and road safety measures.