More than a dozen cities and towns across Italy introduced traffic curbs on Wednesday in a bid to cut harmful emissions following a spike in pollution. A prolonged period of sunny weather with little rain or wind has pushed up air pollution across the country, triggering smog alerts in more than 60 municipalities.
Scientists say breathing the heavily polluted air in Mexico City these days is like smoking somewhere between a quarter-and a half-pack of cigarettes a day.
Santiago de Chile is under a smog emergency for the fifth day running because of the poor quality of air, as reported by the local authorities of the Chilean capital. For this reason 40% of vehicles without catalytic convertors, and with plate numbers ending in 0,1,2 or 3 are banned from circulating in the city. Likewise motorcycles manufactured before 2002 and with plate numbers ending in 0 and 1.
On Wednesday, Beijing was under a red alert for smog, the highest of four levels, and a yellow alert for fog. Other areas, particularly in northern China were still under red alert as of Wednesday for both fog and smog. The high pollution has been going on for a number of weeks, causing flight delays, and leading to traffic bans, as part of what is called smog season or airpocalypse.