CEBU CITY, Philippines — Over the past few days, netizens posted on social media photos of what they thought was haze looming over Cebu. Their speculations were right when the Environmental Management Bureau in Central Visayas (EMB-7) confirmed this. In a test carried out by EMB-7, they found that there were 56 micrograms per normal cubic meter of Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM 2.5) in the air. Normal or safe levels of PM 2.5 is at 50 micrograms per normal cubic meter.
With this, the EMB-7 advised the public to take precautionary safety measures when going out but also encourage people to close their doors and windows and stay indoors instead. In an advisory, they stated that the “haze caused by forest fires can cause air pollution, which can bring about health risks for respiratory tract infections and cardiac ailments.”
The Bureau was referring to the intense forest fires that have raged parts of Indonesia, specifically in the regions of Sumatra and Kalimantan. Over 930,000 hectares were ravaged by the forest fires with smoke reaching neighboring countries like Singapore and the Philippines.