After months of registering in the “excellent” and “good” categories, Cuenca’s air quality has been in the “unhealthy” range since Sunday morning.
The regional Risk Management Service says the culprit is “a large load” of fine particulates, which it blames on vehicular pollution and residue from wildfires that continue to burn in the area. “The situation is compounded by cloudiness at both high and low levels containing high levels of water vapor, low wind speed and a thermal process that does not allow the normal dispersal of elements in the atmosphere,′′ a Risk Management spokesperson said.
The spokesperson dismissed social media speculation that gas and ash emissions from the Sangay volcano were to blame. “That is not a factor since winds at Sangay are easterly, blowing any volcanic emittance toward the jungle.”
Risk Management recommends that residents with respiratory problems remain indoors as much as possible. It says that atmospheric conditions should improve within 24 hours.