Hanoi and HCM City have been named among the top three cities with the most serious air pollution in the world according to the air quality index (AQI) ranking by Air Visual.
Air Visual currently provides data for over 10,000 locations worldwide. The data on September 26 show that HCM City and Hanoi alternatively took the first and third places.
The air quality index over 100 is considered bad and people with respiratory and heart diseases are advised to stay home. If the index increased to over 150, all citizens are affected. The index in Hanoi and HCM City are over 160 and sometimes reached 200.
The PAM air quality system in Vietnam also show the severely-polluted air in Hanoi and other northern provinces. The air quality index at 7 am on September 26 was from 150 to 200. On the previous night, the air quality index in Hanoi's Dong Anh District was 228. Some other polluted locations are Minh Khai in Bac Tu Liem District and Hang Dau in Hoan Kiem District.
Many other provinces in the Red River Delta also experienced air pollution. The most polluted provinces are Thai Binh, Hung Yen and Nam Dinh. Straw burning is blamed for causing pollution since the most polluted times are during the early morning and night. The most polluted locations are in the suburbs.
The main cause for HCM City's pollution is the trapped dust. According to the Institute for Environment and Resources under the National University-HCM City, the smog in HCM City is mostly due to the high level of exhaust fumes from vehicles, industrial plants and Indonesian forest fires. However, the Center for Natural Resources and Environment Monitoring rejected the news.
Fine dust pollution is a huge problem in Hanoi.
The Green Innovation and Development Centre's air report last year showed that the fine dust concentration in Hanoi was 40.1 micrograms per cubic metre, much higher than the national standard of 15 micrograms per cubic metre. However, pollution from June to September is often caused by straw burning activities.
Concerns are growing among residents across Hanoi regarding the poor quality of air that the city has been experiencing over the past few days.
An exhibition on air pollution titled “Feel The Air” unfolded in Saigon recently.