In Bangkok (Source: Reuters)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Serious air pollution on January 30 forced Bangkok authorities to order the three-day closure of nearly 450 local schools.  

Governor of Bangkok Aswin Kwanmuang said the pollution could last till February 3-4 so that the shutdown is expected to reduce road traffic.

He said the administration will soon issue a warning urging people to refrain from outdoor activities and exercise, and has deployed water-spraying drones to reduce haze in major areas.

People were asked to limit open-air burning of materials, and have even been advised to use shorter incense sticks in the upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations.

The Thai capital has been shrouded in murky haze for weeks due to exhaust from traffic, unfettered construction, the burning of crop straw, and pollution from factories getting trapped in the city.

Air Visual, an independent online air quality index (AQI) monitor, on January 24 pegged Bangkok at the "unhealthy" level of 171, up from 156 in the middle of the month.

The measurements are higher than some cities in China but well below the Indian capital New Delhi.

Greenpeace Thailand Country Director Tara Buakamsri said the levels in Bangkok were the worst in at least a year.-VNA