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Air Pollution

Haze from Indonesia’s forest fires affecting Thailand’s south

Maya Taylor

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The ongoing forest fires in Indonesia are affecting Thailand’s south, bringing smog and a lingering haze to many provinces.

Thai PBS World reports that school children at two municipal schools in Trang have received 3,000 face masks from Provincial Governor Luechai Charoensap and city mayor Apichit Wenothai.

Distribution of the masks comes as local authorities warn residents to wear masks when they leave home and to avoid spending time outdoors where possible.

Governor Luechai says air quality in the province has worsened and now poses a health risk, in particular for children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with respiratory illnesses or allergies.

Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga have also been affected in the past three days since the pall of smoke descended on the popular southern tourist zones. Mixed in with light winds and low cloud, the foggy smog is casting a grey hue across the region’s landscape.

Haze from Indonesia's forest fires affecting Thailand's south | News by Thaiger

Today Phuket’s Air Quality Index (AQI) reading was 154, down from yesterday’s reading of 181, although still up to three times higher than the World Health Organisation’s recommended upper limit of 50.

An AQI of 101-150 means air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups and 151-200 means air quality is unhealthy for the general population.

Haze from Indonesia's forest fires affecting Thailand's south | News by Thaiger

Thai PBS World reports that Dr Supat Hasuwankit, a hospital doctor in Songkhla province, has taken to social media to point the finger at companies that have invested in oil palm plantations in Indonesia, saying they are to blame for the fires on Sumatra and the Kalimantan islands.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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