HCMC smog to hang for another month

By Hoai Nhon, Thanh Nien News

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Haze has painted many parts of the city grey. Photo: Hoai Nhon Haze has painted many parts of the city grey. Photo: Hoai Nhon

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The smog covering Ho Chi Minh City since early this month will continue until at least the end of November when Indonesia is expected to put out its forest fires, an expert has said.
After lifting for a while, the thick haze is back over many parts of the city and nearby provinces, hindering sight and threatening people’s health.
Le Thi Xuan Lan, a lecturer of meteorology at a city university, said the problem is a combination of Indonesian forest fires and local pollution.
Lan said there are days the sky is clearer when the winds blow from the northeast.
 Photo: Hoai Nhon
Fires from illegal burning of forests and agricultural land in South Sumatra have caused haze that has blanketed Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, and southern Thailand since mid-August.
The pollution is annual and occurs every dry season, but scientists say it is more severe this year and could surpass the level seen in 1997, when the haze cost an estimated US$9 billion in losses.
Lan said the problem would persist until at least the end of November. Indonesia has informed its neighbors it will control most of its forest fire smoke by then.
She said the haze can cause respiratory inflammation and one should wear protective gear when going out.
Dang Van Dung, deputy director of the Southern Hydro-meteorology Forecasting Centre, earlier said haze appears from time to time over Ho Chi Minh City as the country’s largest city suffers from severe air pollution due to heavy traffic and industrial activity.

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