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Air Pollution

Northern Thailand chokes under shroud of smog

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: - Chiang Rai Times

Chiang Mai may have fallen to third in the race for world’s worst air quality today, but northern Thailand is still choking under a blanket of toxic haze, and the Thai Meteorological Department has forecast “hot to very hot conditions” for the region. The department urges people in the north to “stay safe due to the very hot conditions.”

Visibility on northern roads this morning was just 10 metres, and the morning sun was a dark orange ball due to the haze. The thick smog has blanketed most of the northern provinces, causing difficulty in breathing, sore throats and burning noses.

The shroud is due to forest and crop field burning and forest fires in the region as well as in neighbouring countries, particularly Cambodia. The level PM2.5 (particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less) in the Northern region is still high and is affecting many residents’ health. PM Prayut Chan-ocha has ordered the Royal Thai Air Force to dispatch helicopters to spray water to reduce the impact.

Northern Thailand chokes under shroud of smog | News by Thaiger

GRAPHIC: – airvisual.com

There is a ban on agricultural burning in the region and the PM has ordered all relevant agencies to control and extinguish forest fires, and to strictly prevent new ones so as to urgently reduce the haze level.

Northern Thailand chokes under shroud of smog | News by Thaiger

GRAPHIC: – airvisual.com

The PM has also ordered relevant agencies to implement public health care measures such as arranging safe zones and dispatching mobile medical units until the situation can brought under control.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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