BANGKOK – Thai authorities began on Tuesday a process to generate artificial rain in an attempt to reduce the high levels of pollution in the capital Bangkok, which has been engulfed by thick smog in recent days.
Sources from the Pollution Control Department told EFE that the first plane equipped with special technology took off on Tuesday morning and rain was expected to occur by night as part of a project which is set to continue at least until Friday.
Firefighters used high-pressure cannons to spray heavy jets of water in front of the City Hall to combat high levels of air pollution.
Air Visual, a company which tracks the air quality index across the world, indicated that the AQI in Bangkok climbed to 161 on Tuesday, a figure classified as unhealthy, which could harm vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems.
The air has become increasingly hazardous in Thailand in recent years due to the increase in farmers burning crop residue, industrial activity, construction and vehicular traffic.
A large number of residents have started wearing masks in the Thai capital in order to protect themselves from pollution.
The PM2.5 levels – which indicate the number of particles smaller than 2.5 microns – reached a high of 75 micrograms per cubic meter, while the World Health Organization recommends a maximum level of 25.
On Monday, the AQI had reached as high as 223 points, entering the “very unhealthy” category in some parts of Bangkok, which was among the 15 worst cities worldwide in terms of air quality, according to Air Visual’s daily rankings.