Air pollution has reached alarming levels in some areas of Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Air pollution in the capital city of Hanoi, which has been bad since March 7, is so severe now that health experts have warned people to stay indoors.

The Air Quality Index at various air monitoring stations across Hanoi showed dangerously high levels on March 13 night. For instance, it was at 214 at Nhon street in Bac Tu Liem district, which is very high. Earlier, on March 7, the index touched 294 here, while it was at 263 on Pham Van Dong street.

An index of above 300 will have adverse effect on people, according to the US Environment Protection Agency.

Hanoi People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung admitted that the city’s air quality was at “red alert level”.

At a recent meeting with concerned agencies, Chung said that the high level of air pollution was the result of the large number of cars and motorcycles in the city that have crossed their expiry dates.

“Hanoi has nearly six million motorcycles, of which 2.5 million passed their expiry date and should be banned on roads. These vehicles are seriously polluting the environment,” he told Zing online newspaper.

Chung also blamed the worsening of the air quality on road constructions and industries.

Drastic measures will be adopted to curb the problem and improve air quality, he said. The city will ask project investors to spend on waste treatment systems and use eco-friendly technologies.

In the future, Hanoi will add 80 observation posts for recording air pollution.-VNA