Three Honduran airports closed because of low visibility due to pollution

Alerts are maintained due to high levels of air pollution, poor air quality caused by dense layer of smoke with high temperatures, as well as forest fires and the absence of rains

Three international airports in Honduras remain closed on Thursday due to the lack of visibility due to a dense layer of smoke that affects the Central American country, where the authorities have declared the state of alert.

The arrivals and departures stopped at the Golosón airports, which operates in the Caribbean city of La Ceiba; Juan Manuel Gálvez, of the island of Roatán and Ramón Villeda Morales, of San Pedro Sula (north), reported the Honduran Agency of Civil Aeronautics (AHAC).

“Beware and low visibility, the international airports Ramón Villeda Morales, Golosón and Juan Manuel Gálvez are inoperative today until further notice,” said the Civil Aeronautics.

International provisions do not allow an aircraft to land or take off when visibility is less than three kilometres away, according to AHAC.

The Ministry of Management of National Risks and Contingencies of Honduras decided on Wednesday to keep the red or emergency alert active indefinitely in six departments, yellow or surveillance in another ten, and the green or prevention in the remaining two, due to the high levels of air pollution.

The alerts are maintained due to “high levels of air pollution, poor air quality caused by the dense layer of smoke with high temperatures, as well as forest fires and the absence of rains,” the institution said in a statement.

He noted that environmental pollution continues with a dense layer of smoke, proliferation of heat points and lack of rain and continuity in the burning or preparation of plots for agriculture in Mesoamerica, some forest fires, vehicle combustion pollution and gas emissions from industry,

The authorities of the department of Atlántida, in the Honduran Caribbean, on red alert, decided to suspend the face-to-face classes scheduled for Thursday and Friday due to the high levels of air toxicity, while public employees of Tegucigalpa, the capital, continue to work from home.

Doctors and experts have asked the population to reduce direct exposure to the air as much as possible, as well as avoid the practice of outdoor exercise because the dense layer of smoke that covers the city is harmful.

This article has been translated after first appearing in El Salvador