EMB-Davao: Air quality safe post Mt. Kanlaon eruption

Davao City aerial shot view.
Davao City aerial shot view.Drone shot by Mark Perandos

FOLLOWING the Mt. Kanlaon eruption in Negros Island, the Environmental Management Bureau-Davao Region (EMB-Davao) reassured the public of the region's air quality, stating it remains at a "good level."

According to EMB-Davao's advisory, there was a slight increase in the 24-hour Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Air Quality Index (AQI) since 9 p.m. on June 5, 2024. 

However, the agency emphasized that the air quality remains safe.

EMB-Davao clarified misinformation circulating online from windy.com, stating that the reported high levels of SO2 may affect ground-level air quality within the Davao Region, which the agency deemed imprecise.

Upon further investigation on June 6, 2024, EMB-Davao found that the wind direction from windy.com is from the Southeast (SE), while Mt. Kanlaon is in the northern part of the Davao Region. This suggests minimal impact on ground-level air concentration.

The agency stressed that the data from windy.com represents SO2 levels from ground to atmosphere and not ground-level concentration monitored by DENR-EMB, which aligns with National Ambient Air Quality Guideline Values (NAAQGV).

EMB-Davao reiterated that ground-level concentration is what affects public health, which their office constantly monitors at the Davao International Airport station. They assured the public of timely updates, noting air quality fluctuations due to pollution sources and meteorological factors.

Mt. Kanlaon had a brief phreatic eruption on Monday night, June 3, 2024. 

The Department of Health (DOH) advised affected residents to wear masks and safety goggles to mitigate ashfall-related health risks. RGP


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