Further pollution level spikes are possible in the eastern Balkan capitals of Skopje, Pristina, and Sarajevo, in the coming weeks and months. High levels of pollution were reported in these areas since Sunday, December 2, reportedly due to heavy traffic and coal and solid-fuel burning power sources. On December 5, the Air Quality Index (AQI) reached 383 in Sarajevo, considered as a hazardous level to health by the World Health Organization (WHO). As of December 6, the AQI had decreased to reach an unhealthy level in the Bosnian capital.
Transportation disruptions are possible due to heavy smog, should high levels of pollution persist. Reduced visibility caused flights from Sarajevo International Airport (SIA) to Zagreb and Vienna to be cancelled on December 2-3.
Individuals located in the area are advised to monitor the situation and follow any instructions issued by authorities. Due to health risks associated with air pollution, it is advisable to limit outdoor activities. Pollution is especially hazardous to vulnerable individuals (e.g. children, seniors, pregnant women, and individuals suffering from asthma and other respiratory issues). If experiencing breathing difficulties, do not hesitate to seek medical attention, particularly if new symptoms appear (e.g. cough, sore throat, irritated eyes).
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