Fri, Dec 07, 2018 - Page 5 News List

CLIMATE CHANGE: Smog darkens winter cheer for cities in the Balkans

AFP, SARAJEVO

Fuad Prnjavorac, a 69-year-old Sarajevo resident who has asthma, tries to escape the city for cleaner air on Mount Trebivic, which overlooks the capital.

From that view, the city was completely obscured by the dense gray smog this week.

“It’s terrible in town at this time of year, impossible to breathe,” Prnjavorac told reporters.

This month, the air had an average of 320 micrograms per cubic meter of fine particles, with peaks above 400.

Anes Podic, who runs Eko-Akcija, a Bosnian environmental organization, said the government was ignoring the problem.

“Someone has judged that the lungs of Sarajevo residents are five times more resistant than those of Paris,” Podic said with sarcasm at a recent news conference, referring to how French authorities set 80 micrograms per cubic meter of fine particles as an alert level. “When the problem appears, as it does every year, authorities ignore it at first, then seem to work on it, and finally, their only measure is to wait for a gust of wind.”

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