CEBU CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Haze from the forest fires burning in the islands of Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia has reached the Philippines. (READ: Indonesia haze reaches Cebu)
Carried by the southwest monsoon winds, residents reported seeing haze hovering over provinces in the central and southern Philippines last week.
The Environmental Management Bureau in the Central Visayas already issued a warning on Wednesday, September 18, for residents of Metro Cebu in particular to avoid going outside or to wear protective masks during peak hours due to unsafe levels of PM2.5 particulates in the atmosphere.
The particularly high harmful air pollutants in Metro Cebu were caused by the toxic haze from Indonesia and the local urban pollution.
Residents were told stay indoors or to use protective N95 masks during “peak hours” or times when pollution was above healthy levels. (READ: Indonesia haze: Cebu residents urged to stay indoors or wear masks during peak hours)
This is how the haze looked like in different parts of the country:
Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story called the EMB the “Environmental Management Board.” It is the “Environmental Management Bureau.” This has been corrected