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  • Throughout Colombia, air pollution levels continue to rise. The city of Medellin (pictured above) also struggles with growing contamination rates.

    Throughout Colombia, air pollution levels continue to rise. The city of Medellin (pictured above) also struggles with growing contamination rates. | Photo: EFE

Published 6 March 2019

Environmental experts warn that without outside intervention, pollution could rise in a matter of days to dangerous levels.

Pollution levels have reached a new high in Colombia, as officials release warning statuses of red and orange around Aburra Valley, environmental authorities reported Wednesday.

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In an effort to curb rising levels of air contamination in the valley, city officials are imposing a last minute limit on transportation and manufacturing after 14 sectors registered alarming rates of air pollution during the first few days of March.

Environmental experts warned that without outside intervention, pollution could rise in a matter of days to dangerous levels. In accordance to scientific data, municipal authorities have implemented restrictions on commuters and large manufacturing companies in the area, announcing warnings of red alerts expected to hit this weekend.

"We are in orange alert and will have to wait until tomorrow, if we wake up with (pollution) levels in red, we will have to open and begin using the bike path,” city officials said.

Experts believe the Aburra Valley will reach “red alert” status by the weekend, given that already all but two monitoring stations are in “orange alert”- just one step below the red.

#ReporteICA| So is the #AirQuality in the Valley of Aburra (data from the last 24 hours PM 2.5) | @Areametropol
 

The director of the Early Warning System of the Metropolitan Area ( Siata ), Carlos David Hoyos, said, "The statistics indicate that (air pollution levels) will continue to rise, and that some sectors could end up in red on Wednesday or especially on Friday. From the technical point of view, it’s recommended that measures be introduced to prevent contamination from reaching levels that could be harmful to the population. "

"The climatic conditions are not favorable for the dispersion of pollutants, the emissions did not increase at any moment, we knew that this specific time, this week of March and the other, was going to be critical," said Hoyos.

Authorities plan to monitor companies more closely in the coming months and continue to enforce vehicle restriction schedules to ensure that pollution levels are maintained.

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