Visible indications of air quality deterioration were reported in Hanoi on Thursday as the city was engulfed in thick clouds of smoke.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) in downtown Hanoi reached an unhealthy level on Thursday morning, according to air quality monitoring stations operated by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
Meanwhile, several monitoring stations in suburban Hanoi reported “moderate” air quality.
An AQI readout between 101 and 150 indicates “unhealthy” air quality for sensitive groups, while anything falling between 51 and 100 means “moderate” in terms of air pollution.
Most notably, the monitoring station at 57 Tran Hung Dao Street of Hoan Kiem District recorded AQI of over 150, which is considered unhealthy for all groups of age.
Severe pollution caused major roads of Hanoi to be smothered in smoke, forcing commuters to turn on the headlights during the morning hours.
As witnessed by Tuoi Tre (Youth) correspondent, major streets of Cau Giay District, namely Tran Duy Hung, Cau Giay and Xuan Thuy, were shrouded in grey haze, which vastly hindered visibility of commuters and prompted them to don glasses and face masks.
Worsened air quality was also seen at the KeangNam Landmark Tower as well as Pham Hung Street, Le Quang Dao Street and Thang Long Avenue in Nam Tu Liem District.
In the same day, residents living on Nguyen Trai and Khuat Duy Tien Street of Thanh Xuan District detected an unhealthy level of air pollution in their neighborhood using the realtime tracking solution AirVisual.
Nguyen Thanh Tam, 22, a student of the University of Languages & International Studies in Hanoi, complained that air quality in downtown Hanoi has decreased sharply over the last few days.
“I feel uncomfortable going out as the air is too polluted. As my body is very sensitive, I get teary-eyed every time I go out,” she said.
Hanoi and surrounding territories are entering a phase of deteriorating air quality, said Hoang Dung Tung, the chairman of the Vietnam Clean Air Network.
“Besides the main factors as of traffic, construction and waste burning, the weather conditions of winter also worsen pollution in the city compared to other seasons,” he explained while recommending Hanoi residents to wear face masks for self-protection before organized measures from the authority are launched.
|Commuters are seen donning face masks in this photo taken in Hanoi. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre|
|A section of Nguyen Trai Street in Hanoi is smothered in grey haze. Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre|
|Keangnam Landmark Tower, the tallest building in Hanoi, is seen through the grey haze. Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre|
|Grey haze engulfs Me Tri Overpass in Hanoi in this photo taken at 9:00 am December 10.|
|A street vendor is seen through the grey haze in Hanoi. Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre|
|A crowded street of Hanoi is seen through the grey haze. Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre|
|The AQI of Hanoi on Thursday is reported through the mobile app AirVisual. Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre|