MANILA— State seismologists on Wednesday denied reports that the "haze" observed in the capital region was due to Taal volcano's smog, attributing it instead to human-made pollution.
"The haze observed in Metro Manila is smog or due to human activities and not from Taal Volcano," Phivolcs said in a statement.
"As such, the haze that is being experienced in the NCR may be mainly due to smog, or industrial air pollution, rather than vog, although we cannot completely rule out additional [sulfur dioxide] albeit very minor at this point," a separate note emailed by the agency read.
Some photos and video clips circulating on social media indicated that the supposed haze in various areas in Metro Manila came from the volcano, urging residents to stay at home.
An advisory released by Phivolcs on Monday, however, said that the volcanic smog or vog over Taal volcano could affect residents near the area.
The vog, or air pollution due to volcanic gas, was due to Taal's continued emission of high sulfur dioxide levels over the weekend, according to the agency.
"It consists of fine droplets containing volcanic gas such as [sulfur dioxide] which is acidic and can cause irritation of the eyes, throat and respiratory tract in severities depending on the gas concentrations and durations of exposure," Phivolcs said.
They also urged residents, most especially those staying around Taal Lake, to wear N-95 masks, stay in their homes, and close their windows and doors to block the pollution.
State volcanologists also pointed out that Taal remained on Alert Level 2 out of a possible 5, which means it was experiencing "increased unrest."
This means that "the threat of sudden steam or gas-driven explosions and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas can occur."