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Smog settles in as a chronic Bangkok problem

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Smog settles in as a chronic Bangkok problem | The Thaiger

Air pollution? What air pollution!?

Bangkok residents will have to put up with smog until early March, as high levels of PM2.5 particles settle over the capital for many more weeks, or months.

Though pollution has become a cause of grave concern to citizens, relevant authorities are yet to introduce significant measures – let alone declare the capital a pollution-control zone.

Some areas of Thailand, including Rayong’s Map Ta Phut and Saraburi’s Kaeng Khoi districts were designated pollution-control zones and seen several stringent measures implemented.

But the Pollution Control Department (PCD) director-general Pralong Dumrongthai insisted yesterday… “It is still not necessary to make Bangkok a pollution-control area.”

However, he acknowledged that the build-up of PM2.5 in Bangkok was high enough to affect the health of people.

According to Pralong, when PM2.5 level exceeds 100 micrograms per cubic metre of air for three consecutive days, the situation is considered critical.

Pralong blamed vehicles’ exhaust fumes for between 50 and 60 per cent of the problem.

“While 35 per cent is caused by outdoor fires,” he said, adding that people have been banned from burning such fires.  Pralong also urged people to wear proper masks to protect themselves from the smog.

For short-term measures, police are now cracking down on vehicles that emit black exhaust fumes and are regularly hosing down roads.

“In the long run, we believe diesel must be replaced by the B20 diesel blend. Also, we will have to encourage people to switch to electric and hybrid cars,” he added.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha “has instructed relevant authorities to introduce additional measures to deal with this situation in the next day or two”, Government Spokesman Puttipong Punnakanta said.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and the Army’s efforts to spray water to ease the pollution on Monday night and yesterday morning did not appear to help much.

In fact, those silly water cannons blasting water into the air, do nothing other than provide a distracting photo opportunity for the media.

Smog settles in as a chronic Bangkok problem | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation



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Bangkok

“X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner” arrest numbers hit 8,400

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“X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner” arrest numbers hit 8,400 | The Thaiger

by Kittipong Maneerit

More foreigners detained and likely to be deported. Seems to be a never-ending supply of illegal foreigners hiding in Thailand. X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner has been an almost weekly campaign to round up and deport overstaying and illegal foreigners over the past two years.

Another 490 foreigners were caught this week in the latest Immigration Police dragnet involving simultaneous raids at 229 locations around the country.

It was the 46th such crackdown bringing the total number of locations searched to 7,145 and the number of arrests to 8,400.

Immigration Police Bureau announced that 338 of the people arrested were charged for entering Thailand illegally – 110 from Laos, 141 from Myanmar, 85 from Cambodia and one each from Vietnam and India.

14 others,3 each from India and Vietnam, 2 each from Laos and Cameroon and 1 each from Myanmar, Cambodia, Switzerland and the US, are accused of overstaying their visas.

85 Thais allegedly failed to report within 24 hours they had foreigners staying on their premises.

The 27 from Myanmar, 9 from Cambodia, 4 from Laos, 3 from India, 2 each from China, Vietnam and Russia and 1 each from France, Poland, South Korea and Canada allegedly either failed to report their stay at specified addresses or violated the law on Foreign Worker Management.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Bangkok

Earth Hour next week, everyone invited to join Bangkok by switching off lights

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Earth Hour next week, everyone invited to join Bangkok by switching off lights | The Thaiger

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is inviting Bangkokians to join in “60+ Earth Hour 2019”, by turning off electrical appliances and lights for one hour from 8.30-9.30pm on Saturday, March 30.

The rest of Thailand is also invited to join in the annual environmental initiative. The BMA has participated in Earth Hour since 2008 by encouraging Thais to switch off lights to show their concern for the planet.

The BMA says they’re joining 262 organisations to participate in the event. Bangkok’s main celebration venue will be Central World Plaza on March 30.

The BMA say that last year’s event, when 121 organisations and establishments took part, was a success with 2,002 megawatt reduction in power usage during the ‘lights-off’ hour which was calculated to have a cash value of 7.86 million baht or a reduction of 1,026 tons of carbon dioxide.

Started as a symbolic lights-out event in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour is now celebrated in 188 countries as a global moment of solidarity and action to save the planet.

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Bangkok

Summer storm cell hits Bangkok

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Summer storm cell hits Bangkok | The Thaiger

PHOTO: @fm91trafficpro

A sudden and brief summer storm swiftly passed through Bangkok’s Lak Si and Don Mueang areas yesterday afternoon.

The storm left some damage in its trail, including toppled small trees on Soi Vibhavadi 60, clogged drains and an under-construction Vibhavadi-Rangsit pedestrian bridge’s metal scaffold falling onto a car at Lak Si Intersection.

The stormy weather took place around 3.30pm and lasted over 10 minutes.

The Thai Meteorological Department had previously warned about storms, gusty winds, hail stones and lightening in upper Thailand from March 23-25 and continues to warn people to avoid open fields, big trees or billboards during the storms.

Forecast for the Central areas of Thailand…

Up to March 23, hot to very hot during the day. Minimum temperature 23-27°C. Maximum temperature 36-40°C. During March 24 – 27 2019, hot during the day. Isolated to scattered thunderstorm with isolated gusty and hail. Minimum temperature 22-26°C. Maximum temperature 33-38°C. Southeasterly wind 10-15 km/hr.

SOURCES: The Nation | TMD

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