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Bangkok smog: Predicted to worsen over weekend



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Bangkok’s air pollution is expected to worsen today following slight improvements in weather conditions and some rain last Tuesday and Wednesday.

Fewer locations reported fine particle dust beyond safe levels yesterday, while the Meteorological Department is issuing warnings about a high-pressure area hovering over Laos and the Northeast that will bring temperatures down by 1 to 3 degrees Celsius in greater Bangkok today.

The TMD say that once the cooler air mass withdraws, still air will hover over greater Bangkok and central Thailand and it will combine with fog. They predict the level of fine particle dust may peak on Sunday.

Deputy PM General Chatchai Sarikulya told a press conference yesterday that the public should not panic about the current smog problem in Bangkok, as the air pollution was not as hazardous as is alleged by many international air-quality monitoring websites. He said the authorities are earnestly engaging with the problem.

In the wake of pollution, various agencies have this week implemented dust-reducing measures such as suspending the construction of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand’s Orange, Yellow and Pink electric rail lines until at least January 22.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority has been checking vehicles and keeping exhaust-spewing buses off the streets, while traffic police have nearly doubled checkpoints to 20 from the previous 12 to catch and seize polluting four-wheelers.

In the long run, 2,188 buses powered by clean energy, including natural gas and electricity, would be procured, according to PM Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has sent workers to clean and hose down risky spots on a daily basis.

SOURCE: The Nation


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