The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has prepared measures to curb the hazardous ultra-fine PM2.5 dust pollution, which is expected to escalate to an alarming level from Friday until Sunday.
In the event the PM2.5 dust particles soared to more than 76 microgrammes per cubic metre, the red level for dust pollution, in two to five districts, the BMA's Department of Education will consider suspending classes at schools across the city for 15 days, Deputy Bangkok Governor Chakkapan Phewngam said on Thursday
However, if the situation is even worse, with five or more districts being declared red zones, the Bangkok governor may consider ordering a shutdown until the situation returns to a safe level, Mr Chakkapan said.
Schools that can ensure sufficient safe space to shield students and faculties from the impact of the dust pollution may be allowed to remain open, he noted.
Aside from this, the BMA is preparing to step up controls of PM2.5 dust sources, particularly traffic emission, the most common cause of the dust's concentration, he said.
The Bangkok governor may also ask for cooperation from government agencies and private companies to allow their staff members to work remotely to decrease the rate of car use in the city, he said.
The BMA will also be working together with the Pollution Control Department to inspect more sources of PM2.5 dust, including factories using a diesel- or biomass-powered engine, he said.
These factories may be ordered to stop operating due to the serious pollution situation, he said.
Construction sites and old trucks used to transport construction materials will also be asked for cooperation to avoid certain zones in the city, which will be declared restricted to control possible health nuisances under the BMA's 1992 Public Health Act, he said.
Pornphrom Vikitsreth, adviser to the Bangkok governor, said he had received a report that the PM2.5 dust levels will likely hit 37.6 to 75µg/m3 in Bangkok from tomorrow to Sunday.