Pollution on December 11
The air quality index at Tay Ho District’s Phu Thuong Station at 5 am was 380. The data measured at the US Embassy in Hanoi was 269. Vietnam Environment Administration reported that data measured by their air quality monitoring system on Nguyen Van Cu Street at 7 am was 199. Over 60 monitoring spots of PAM air quality monitoring system also showed alarming data.
Old people, children and people with respiratory diseases have been advised to stay indoors and Hanoians have been told not to go out for morning exercises. Residents are also advised to close the windows and wear masks when they have to go out.
In several countries like Thailand, China and Singapore, schools are often closed and outdoor activities are halted during polluted days. The authorities also ban straw burning activities and construction work for a few days.
Change Organisation is launching a stay home on polluted days movement with support from the German Consul General in HCM City. The movement aims to encourage firms to let their employees work from home during severely-polluted days.
Reports about Hanoi’s air quality has been getting worse in the past eight months and the air quality index reached a record level in November.
The pollution is caused by many factors including heavy traffic, on-going constructions as well as industrial and household activities. The pollutants were trapped near the ground and caused severe pollution.
According to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, Hanoi has been cold at nights and sunny during the day but the weather is dry and there is little wind. It is forecasted that the temperature inversion phenomenon will continue until December 13, trapping pollutants near the ground.
It is forecasted that by next March, the air quality in Hanoi and northern provinces will stay at alarming levels. GreenID’s report about air quality also pointed out that air pollution in Hanoi is often worse than in summer.
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