Pollution and uncontrolled construction are all being blamed for a pollution crisis that has hit the city of Bangkok. The Thai capital has been shrouded in murky haze for weeks, causing people to cough up blood and pets suffering pollution sickness. Residents have started trying to protect themselves by putting on masks while on the streets or public transport.
Authorities have seeded clouds to provoke rain, sprayed overpasses with water to catch micro-pollutants and even asked people not to burn incense sticks and paper during Chinese New Year celebrations.
The measures so far have drawn derision from many Bangkok residents, while stocks of pollution masks have run out in many shops. But on Wednesday, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration stepped up its health warnings, ordering all 437 city-controlled public schools to close from lunchtime through Friday, designating 580 square miles of the city a ‘control area’.
‘The situation will be bad until February 3 to 4, so I decided to close schools,’ said Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang, adding he hoped the move would also empty the road of cars on the school run. Three to four of the city’s districts are ‘severely hit with smog’, he added.