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Pollution Is So Bad In Mexico City The Government Issued Emergency Orders

Mexico City has long suffered from severe air pollution, but the bad air quality has been at a whole other level since forest fires erupted over this past weekend.

Massive wildfires in southern Mexico have sent smoke streaming over Mexico City, turning the sunsets blood red and sending pollution levels skyrocketing. The city’s environmental commission has warned residents to stay indoors, and pollution levels could spike further in the coming days. The U.S. National Weather Service has already detected smoke aloft in the U.S.

The air is so bad the city is urging all residents to stay indoors.

Credit: @ajplus / Twitter

The government declared an environmental alert, ordering vehicles off the road and postponing the semi-finals of the first-division football league as a blanket of smog enveloped the sprawling capital.

It low key looks like a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie.

Credit: @urbanthoughts11 / Twitter

One Twitter user captured this perfectly, comparing Mexico City today with a scene from Blade Runner 2049. #OnPoint

It might make for some cool photos but the smoke could lead to serious health issues.

Credit: @DuncanTucker / Twitter

Particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometers or less, known as PM2.5, reached 158 micrograms per cubic meter of air at one measuring station on Tuesday morning, more than six times the World Health Organization daily mean recommended limit.

PM2.5 particles are thought to be particularly damaging because they are so small, they can penetrate the deepest parts of our lungs.

Others are trying to have a sense of humor about it.

But with such unhealthy levels of particulates, this is no laughing matter. The government is taking the necessary steps to limit the harm caused to citizens dealing with the pollution.

In fact, the pollution is so bad, the government has decided to close public schools.

Credit: @nncattan / Twitter

Many long term residents are pretty sure this is the first time the city has ever closed schools because of air pollution. That’s saying something in a city that has long suffered from severe air pollution.

They’ve issued less than clear warnings about breathing in the noxious air.

Credit: @miblogestublog / Twitter

Translation: Breathing has negative effects on your health. But like I’m pretty sure we all still have to breathe…right?

Or maybe not?

Credit: @miblogestublog / Twitter

Nope…I’m pretty sure that’s not an option.

Concerned people were quick to point out the possible connections to climate change.

The blazes come after an explosive spring. An AP report said 100,000 acres burned through March alone. And so far in 2019, Mexico City has experienced 73 days with temperatures higher than average.

Many Mexicans are frustrated at the nation’s slow approach to combating the industries and practices that fuel climate change.

Credit: @t0skaaa_ / Twitter

The city sits in a valley more than 2,200 meters above sea level. It’s surrounded by a ring of mountains that often trap smog over the capital, preventing it from dissipating.

Add to that major polluting industry and the more than five million cars on the city’s streets, an active towering volcano, and you have a recipe for bad air quality.

READ: Mexico City Is One Of The Must-See Cities In The World And Here’s Why

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