Air quality deteriorates to dangerous levels in northern and central Maldives

Male' City experiences haze causing a reduction in air quality and poor visibility. (Sun Photo/Ahmed Saail Ali)

Air quality has begun to deteriorate to dangerous levels in northern and central Maldives again.

An official from Maldives Meteorological Service told Sun on Tuesday that the deterioration in air quality is the result of dust and smoke carried by the easterly winds blowing through the Bay of Bengal

According to the official, the average visibility in Hulhumale’ has dropped to four kilometers, from the 10 kilometers usually reported on a clear day.

The haze is most severe in Kulhudhuffushi City, L. Atoll, and Lh. Naifaru, where the air quality has dropped to dangerous levels.

Air quality in northern and central Maldives.

Maldives Meteorological Service expects the haze to prevail over the next two days.

However, widespread rain is expected on Friday, which is expected to clear up the haze.

 Health Protection Agency (HPA) warned haze poses a health hazard to people of all age groups.

An official from HPA told Sun that haze may cause eye, nose and throat pain.

It’s worse for people with skin and respiratory issues more, said the official.

IQAir app.

HPA advised people to wear masks while outdoor.

“The cloth masks are not effective. Wear the most protective masks,” said the official.

HPA also advised people to reduce the time spent outdoors and use air purifiers.

Unlike mist or fog, haze is caused by fine particles in the air, which pollute the air and reduce visibility.

The air quality can be checked using the app IQAir.