Mexico City’s air quality sharply worsened this week, prompting warnings for residents to stay indoors, while cyclists and pedestrians covered their faces with surgical masks and scarves in a bid to protect their lungs.

The Mexican capital, which ranks among the world’s largest cities, has long been infamous for pollution — much of it generated by the city’s legendary traffic. The situation is being exacerbated by high temperatures and a lack of rain, which has sparked multiple forest fires around the city’s valley.


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