“Red zones” declared in seven worst-affected areas in Bangkok and Samut Sakhon
Seven areas in Bangkok and neighboring province of Samut Sakhon have been declared “red zones” after the amount of PM2.5 dust particles in these spots start exceeding 90 microns.
Pollution Control Department director-general Pralong Damrongthai said that if the air quality in the seven “red zones” does not improve in three days or the amount of PM2.5 particulate further increases, agencies concerned would enforce traffic control measures by reducing the number of cars entering the “inner zones” of Bangkok, starting with the cars of government officials.
And if the situation does not improve, he said, a rarely-used public health law B.E. 2535 would be invoked to empower provincial governors to issue announcements to reduce the number of cars in the “inner zones” in order to ease the air pollution problem.
But he insisted that the situation does not yet warrant the invocation of Section 9 of the Environment Quality Preservation and Promotion Act to declare the worst-affected areas “pollution control zones”.
The seven “red zones”today include: Rama III-Charoenkrung road in Bang Khor Laem district, with 101 microns of PM2.5 dust particles; Petkasem road in Phasi Charoen district, 100 microns; Ratchadapisek-Tha Phra in Thon Buri district, 95 microns; Rama II road in Bang Khun Thian district, 95 microns; Charoensanitwong road in Bang Plad district, 94 microns; Rama II road in Muang district of Samut Sakhon province, 92 microns; Soi Nikhom Banpak Rodfai in Bangkokj Noi district, 92 microns.
Defence spokesman Lt-Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich said that Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan had ordered all military units to put into use all available equipment which could be used to alleviate the air pollution problem.
The general air quality in and around Bangkok is worse today than it was yesterday with higher amount of PM2.5 dust particles in the air as a result of close weather, stale air with wind velocity of less than 2 kph and absence of any rain, the Pollution Control Department reported this morning.
However, the department predicted that the situation would slightly improve tomorrow thanks to the arrival of stronger wind which help disperse dust particles hovering over Bangkok and its peripherals.
Dust particles beyond 10 microns were also found to have exceeded standard levels along Kanchanapisek road in Bangkok, Tambon Song Khanong in Samut Prakan province and Tambon Om-noi and Rama II road in Samut Sakhon.