Mexican city distributes masks for volcano ash

May 7th, 2012 - 11:19 am ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, May 7 (IANS/EFE) Mexico City has started distributing 483,000 masks to residents who might need protection from the ash being spewed by the Popocatepetl volcano.

The Federal District’s Public Safety Secretariat activated its strategic plan Saturday, distributing the masks and starting a series of “talks on the preventive measures that should be taken” by the 8 million people living in the capital’s boroughs.

A total of 222 teams from the secretariat went to the boroughs of Iztapalapa, Milpa Alta, Tlahuac, Xochimilco, Tlalpan, Venustiano Carranza and Iztacalco, all located on the east side of Mexico City.

The teams were deployed “to distribute the masks and create a culture of prevention and health protection via information talks”, the secretariat said.

The teams focused on children and the elderly because they are the groups most likely to suffer from “lung diseases or chronic-degenerative” illnesses if exposed to ash, the secretariat said.

“The network of 32 hospitals and more than 220 health centres in Mexico City is ready to treat patients who inhale volcanic ash,” Mayor Marcelo Ebrard’s administration said.

The Popocatepetl volcano, which rises 5,452 meters above sea level, is located about 64 km from Mexico City.

–IANS/EFE
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