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Several beaches will remain closed until air quality improves

By on June 23, 2020

SAN JUAN – Beaches managed by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DRNA by its Spanish initials) will remain closed until air quality conditions improve, after a 5 p.m. report of found the air quality index (AQI) at 332, which is classified as hazardous, was reported on Tuesday by Rafael Machargo Maldonado, secretary of the DRNA.

Good air quality registers an AQI of lower than 50, while more than 300 is hazardous.

“We are going through a historical natural event never before reported. The recommendation for everyone under the classification reached today, is to avoid physical activities outdoors. This is why we made the decision to close our public beaches until more acceptable rates are reported,” Machargo Maldonado said in written communication.

The DRNA beaches were going to be closed Wednesday, June 24, for maintenance, but now they will remain closed until the air quality improves. Once the index is acceptable, they will return to regular operating hours.

The following beaches will be closed:

  • Boquerón in Cabo Rojo
  • Caña Gorda in Guánica
  • Cerro Gordo in Vega Alta
  • La Monserrate in Luquillo
  • Manuel “Nolo” Morales in Dorado
  • Punta Salinas in Toa Baja
  • Seven Seas in Fajardo
  • Sun Bay in Vieques

The worst AQI previously reported was in 2018, when it reached 154, or in the unhealthy range. Today the index is considered dangerous so it is very likely that the vast majority of the population may be affected.

People are urged to avoid physical activity outdoors as everyone can be affected. Sensitive groups should stay indoors and keep activity levels low. Follow the suggestions for keeping particulate levels low indoors, such as closing all windows and doors and running an air conditioner if possible.

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