Skies clear, haze-free in Cebu

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag November 07,2015 - 01:24 AM
Finally, clouds are distinct in a clear sky over the Cebu North Reclamation Area with the haze gone. Air quality readings are taken daily by the EMB-7 using the equipment mounted on the roof top of the Radisson Hotel. (CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Finally, clouds are distinct in a clear sky over the Cebu North Reclamation Area with the haze gone. Air quality readings are taken daily by the EMB-7 using the equipment mounted on the roof top of the Radisson Hotel. (CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

 

There’s no need to wear N95 masks anymore.

The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-7) yesterday declared Cebu as totally haze free.

Bohol was also cleared. Dumaguete city’s  air quality was also found within standards, although an EMB team will have to verify the reading at one of its six monitoring stations in Negros Oriental.

EMB 7 Regional Director William Cuñado said the rains in the past few days helped clear up suspended dust particles that reduced visibility in Metro Cebu last month.  The EMB said the haze was caused by forest fires in Indonesia.

As of yesterday, the average concentration of particulate matter (PM) 2.5  in Metro Cebu was down to 16 micrograms per normal cubic meter (µg/Nm³), which was  way below  the tolerable limit  of 75µg/Nm³ (See table).

PM2.5, which are fine particles of dust, dirt, soot or smoke,  were measured using the Environmental Beta Attenuation Monitor (EBAM) set up at the roof deck of Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu City.

In Bohol and Negros Oriental, EMB used a high volume air quality sampler to assess total suspended particulates.

Engineer Cindylyn Pepito, chief of EMB ambient air quality monitoring section, said all readings taken at 10 air quality monitoring stations in Bohol from Oct. 27 to 28 averaged only 36.8 µg/Nm³, which was way below the tolerable limit of 300 µg/Nm³ for total suspended particulates.

In Dumaguete, the average was only 128.74 µg/Nm³, also below the standard, except at the Provincial Engineering building, where a very high value of 321 µg/Nm³ was recorded on Oct. 27.
Cuñado said a team will be sent to Dumaguete to conduct another test.

“We also need to identify  other factors of the high concentration (of total suspended particulates) in the area,” he said.

Cuñado said they will continue to monitor air quality, especially since November is being celebrated as Clear Air Month.

EMB 7 and the Land Transportation Office (LTO-7) will conduct road side emission tests in line with the Clean Air Month’s theme of “Perwisyong Usok! Pigilan, Konting Abala, Laking Ginhawa.”

About 58 percent of air pollutants come from vehicle  emissions.

The agency will also hold a  Greenfest Concert on Nov. 20 at the Ayala Terraces.

The concert will will feature bands, songs, interpretative dances and theatrical presentations promoting clean air.

Related Stories: HAZE NO MORE?

Cebu is haze-free, EMB says

Air quality tests for Cebu skies: Haze or smog?

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TAGS: Cebu, Environmental Management Bureau, haze, Metro Cebu, Radisson

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