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Overpriced face masks, fake news amid Taal eruption

04:01 AM January 14, 2020

Last Sunday afternoon, Taal Volcano erupted, creating a massive ashfall that reached Metro Manila and other provinces in Luzon. The last time it erupted was in 1977.

People swarmed pharmacies, drugstores and hardware shops to buy N95 masks or surgical masks for protection against the harmful effects of the ashfall, but stocks were soon sold out in most stores.

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Sadly, there were reports that some people were selling N95 masks for as much as P200 from its original price of only P25-P30.

As if this wasn’t enough, it’s also disappointing to learn that some people were taking advantage of gullible Filipinos on social media amid the volcanic eruption.

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There were posts on Facebook claiming it was not safe to go to the Mall of Asia because its foundations got destroyed, suggesting the mall would collapse anytime.

Another post advised everyone to turn off cellular phones due to strong radiation from cosmic rays, based on an alleged BBC report.

One suspicious website reported that 15 cities in Luzon would be affected by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake on Jan. 15, Wednesday.

These are all fake news. I just hope people stop spreading fake news and creating fear and panic in trying times like this.

JOHN PATRICK F. SOLANO
[email protected]

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