Schools were closed in Bangkok on Wednesday due to unhealthy levels of air pollution.
The Bangkok air quality index (AQI) climbed to 170 on Tuesday morning prompting the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to order 437 schools to shut down for the day on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, air quality in Bangkok was still hovering at unhealthy levels as the amount of hazardous dust particles known as particulate matter 2.5 exceeded safe levels in three areas around the capital.
The last few years’ annual deterioration in air quality early in the new year, coincides with the annual sugarcane harvest, which normally runs from November to March.
Pollution from cars and trucks, weather patterns and industrial emissions are also blamed but the burning of stubble and undergrowth in fields in surrounding rural areas is believed to contribute to much higher pollution levels in the dry, winter months.