Bogotá declared environmental and hospital alert for air pollution

Given the complicated situation of air pollution that Bogotá has suffered in the last week, product of the winds loaded with particulate matter, blown from the region of Guaviare and Orinoquía, the Secretary of the Environment declared this afternoon a generalized environmental alert for all of Bogotá.

According to the latest statements by the Secretary of the Environment, Carolina Urrutia, “It is possible, due to the information that is reaching us of the stations and what the satellites tell us, that we have the worst fire season in the country in the last 10 or 15 years.”

In addition to this, the official also pointed out that: “We have more outbreaks of heat and more smoke and particulate matter are reaching us, a product of the burning of organic matter by forest fires.” But also greater volumes of black carbon, a pollutant that is not only produced by vehicles but because of the burning, he added.

Preventive measures

Due to the emergency reported in Bogotá, the mayor of the city, Claudia López, announced a series of measures that will apply throughout the week of 6 to 11 february in the city to mitigate the impact that poor air quality will have on the health of Bogota citizens.

In the first place, it was established that the administration will make available to the National Government, a body of firefighters specialized in forest fires, to support conflagration control tasks in the Guaviare.

Another of the measures adopted will be to declare a hospital yellow alert in the city, for the care of acute respiratory disease (ARD). In the same way, all entities of public and private health strengthen the human and technical infrastructure to deal with ARD cases.

The third point, or recommendation, invites Bogotans to permanently and compulsorily use the mask in all spaces of the city.

Finally, López, asked citizens not to engage in physical activity or sports outdoors, at least until the amount of particulate matter present in the air of the city is controlled. Bogotá.

In the same way, the administration said that if conditions have not improved within eight days “restrictive measures will be taken that will involve the evaluation of transportation measures or even the cancellation of the cyclopatha”.

The origin of the emergency

As EL TIEMPO had already announced yesterday, Bogotá would be facing a new environmental emergency caused by the concentration of particulate material in the air that had arrived with the winds coming from the forest fires of Ornoquía and Guaviare.

At the time, Urrutia had communicated that the alerts began to be activated last weekend, when the emission measurement stations in the city began to record higher levels of particulate material.

In the same way, according to reports from the US space agency Nasa, which receives the District Environment Secretariat , there are around 1,865 active hot spots in northern South America, but occasionally in the Colombian-Venezuelan plains.

These findings set off alarms in the city and even more so, when last Saturday and Sunday in southwestern In the capital, the indicators of the Kennedy and Fontibón stations changed from yellow (moderate pollution) to orange (regular).
However, the behavior has continued to repeat itself during the week and in the last 24 hours, according to the Ministry of the Environment, regular conditions were recorded in nine and stations: Móvil Fontibón and 7ma, Fontibón, Kennedy, Ciudad Bolívar, Jazmín, Las Ferias, High Performance Center and Suba, which began to register an orange or regular condition alert.