All schools in Bangkok closed as smog problem worsens
The Ministry of Education has ordered all schools in Bangkok closed for two days starting Thursday as smog condition in and around Bangkok worsened today.
Meanwhile, Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwangkuang ordered all the 437 schools under the supervision of the City Hall closed as of this afternoon until Friday in order to prevent young school students from being affected by the smog, especially PM2.5 dust particles. The measure should also help reduce the number of cars used by parents to send their children to schools.
Education Minister Thirakiart Charoensetthasilp said today that the Education Ministry had decided to suspend classes of schools, vocational colleges and universities for two days starting tomorrow because of the worsening air quality from accumulated dust particles beyond standard level in the atmosphere.
He said that authorities concerned would reassess the smog situation again on February 4 to determine what further action to be taken.
The Pollution Control Department reported that smog problem in and around Bangkok has worsened today, with 39 areas affected by accumulated excessive PM2.5 dust particles beyond acceptable level, especially in areas along Rama II road in Muang district of Samut Sakhon where the level of PM2.5 particulate matter in the air has shot up to 141 microns this morning.
It also warned that the smog problem was likely to remain until February 4.
According to the PCD’s air pollution monitor readings at 7 am today, 23 areas along the main roads in Bangkok and it peripherals were found to have excessive amount of PM2.5 dust particles – more than yesterday’s in all areas.
Besides Rama II roadsides in Samut Sakhon’s Muang district where 141 microns of PM2.5 dust particles were measured, worsening smog problem was found this morning in areas along Kanchanapisek road in Bang Khun Thian district with 90 microns, Rama III-Charoen Krung roads in Bang Khor Laem district with 89 microns and areas along Pahonyothin road in Bang Khen district with 87 microns.
The condition in 16 areas farther away from main roads was found to be worse than it was yesterday. The amount of PM2.5 dust particles in these areas were measured to range from 78 to 85 microns against the 50-micron standard level.
Bangkok governor Aswin today also declared Bangkok a so-called “disturbance control zone” in which vehicles with diesel engines, burning of trash and other vegetation in the open and construction activities are targeted for strict checkings.
Those who burn garbage or other vegetation such as dried rice stalks in the open, diesel-engine cars that belch excessive smoke and contractors who cause dust pollution at their construction sites will face a jail term up to three years and/or a maximum fine to 25,000 baht.