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Air pollution closes schools in Iran’s capital of Tehran

16 November 2016 14:22

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Air pollution in the Iranian capital, Tehran, has reached an alarming level, prompting authorities to shut down all schools.

Secretary of Tehran’s Air Pollution Emergency Committee Nasser Mehrdadi told IRNA on Tuesday that schools in all but three cities of Tehran province will be closed on Wednesday.

The committee also extended restrictions on the movement of cars in Tehran while smoke-belching cars would be fined or towed away.

Choking levels of air pollution had already led to the closure of kindergartens and primary schools over the past three days.

The megacity of Tehran, with an estimated population of 14 million people, is shrouded in a thick grey blanket of smog, causing low visibility.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) on Tuesday showed a “red status” warning indicating that the air is unhealthy.

According to the index, the intensity of the tiny particles known as PM 2.5 is at nearly 150 micrograms per cubic meter.

Emergency services are on full alert and residents, especially those with cardiac and respiratory problems and pregnant women, have been highly advised to remain indoors.

Ambulances were deployed in the busiest and dirtiest areas in Tehran.

Officials said the pollution was expected to plague Tehran until Wednesday when winds are forecast to move the stagnant air.

Heavy congestion and cold weather normally cause brown-white smog in Tehran in autumn and winter days each year.

Many blame the quality of gasoline and substandard cars for the poor air quality in the sprawling city.

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