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Straw-burning farmers send dense smoke over Ha Noi

Update: June, 11/2009 - 00:00

Straw-burning farmers send dense smoke over Ha Noi

(12-06-2009)

Smoke from burning stacks of straw and waste on fields in the outskirts of Ha Noi is a danger to people’s health and traffic safety. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Lam

HA NOI — Dense smoke covering many sections of Ha Noi has proven unpleasant to many of the capital’s residents.

A resident in Kim Lien Quarter in Dong Da District said that the smoke appeared at 6pm on Wednesday and grew denser and denser. By 8.30pm many homes in the quarter were covered in smoke.

Le Thi Chung, who lives on Thai Thinh Street, said, "My husband and I passed through a road in Hoai Duc District on Wednesday. There was smoke everywhere and all the drivers had their headlights on, even though it was the middle of the day."

Thanh Xuan, a resident of Nghia Tan Ward in Cau Giay District, quickly took her children inside from the street on Wednesday evening when she saw them coughing and rubbing their eyes.

"At that time the whole residential quarter looked like it was being smoked out. I’ve never seen anything like it," Xuan said.

The director of the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasts, Bui Minh Tang, attributed the problem to straw burning after the rice harvest in the city’s suburbs.

"The hot weather in recent days blocked atmospheric convection, and the straw burning smoke and vehicle exhaust could not be released," Tang said.

The smoke may affect local residents’ health. "People may suffer from respiratory diseases if they inhale the smoke too often, including tuberculosis and bronchitis," said Tang.

Le Thanh Thuy, an official at the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said the department had no measures for the problem, and it was up to local authorities to control the straw burning in their communes.

Chairman of the Thanh Tri People’s Committee Nguyen Quang Hieu said, "Residents in Thanh Tri District burned straw after their harvest, but only in small quantities. Moreover, experts from the people’s committee often reminded them to burn in areas that were far from residential areas, so it did not severely harm the environment."

"In one or two more days, when the farmers are done with their harvests, the smoke will go away," Hieu said. — VNS

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