Ho Chi Minh City’s sky goes dull gray due to heavy air pollution

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Ho Chi Minh City’s sky goes dull gray due to heavy air pollution

This image shows the gloomy sky of the downtown area of Ho Chi Minh City on January 6, 2022. Photo: Le Phan / Tuoi Tre

The sky of Ho Chi Minh City had a dull gray color with a thick layer of gloomy mist as air pollution has worsened over the past five days, as shown through air quality observation data, an expert has warned.

The air in the southern city has been heavily polluted in recent days due to increased traffic activities ahead of the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday due in late January – early February, Ho Quoc Bang, director of the Air Pollution and Climate Change Research Center, under the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City, said on Friday.

The weather is foggy and murky, causing pollutants not to diffuse but fly slowly at a low elevation, thus leading to the gray shade all day, Bang explained.

Such gloomy space has worried locals who said they could not know such a weather pattern was caused by fog or dust.

Thu Duc City, part of Ho Chi Minh City, is seen covered with dull gray air at 10:00 am on January 7, 2022. Photo: Le Phan / Tuoi Tre
Thu Duc City, part of Ho Chi Minh City, is seen covered in a dull gray layer at 10:00 am on January 7, 2022. Photo: Le Phan / Tuoi Tre

The air quality indexes (AQIs) of the city from January 3 to 6 reached the ‘poor’ and ‘bad’ levels, according to the data extracted from the Health AIR app developed by the Ho Chi Minh City Institute of Natural Resources and Environment, under the university.

On Friday, the AQI in Ho Chi Minh City hit 184, a ‘very bad’ level, with the concentration of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) soaring to 124 µg/m3, far higher than the allowable level of 5 µg/m3.

The AQIs of many other hazardous substances in the air have also highly risen, such as NO2 at 85.41 µg/m3, CO at 1,761.63 µg/m3, and SO2 at 7.18 µg/m3, among others.

Bang told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that data provided by the Healthy AIR app is accurate and detailed.

“We provide data from this app to the Center for Natural Resource and Environmental Monitoring under the city’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment, and to the General Department of Environment for reference and use,” the expert said.

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