Smoke chaos engulfs Hua Hin: Landfill fire threatens public health

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A noxious haze descended upon Hua Hin for days, emanating from a blaze at an old landfill between Soi 102 and Soi 112 in Thap Thai.

Governor of Prachuap Khiri Khan yesterday, May 8, marshalled resources to combat the enduring landfill inferno, which has stubbornly smouldered for five relentless days.

Initially subdued by recent rains, the inferno reignited yesterday morning, spewing flames anew. Hua Hin Today can confirm the distressing scenes unfolding at the disused landfill in Village 1, Nong Pranpuk, Thap Tai Subdistrict, where over 20 rai of land is shrouded in smoke, choking the atmosphere and posing health hazards to the populace.

Provincial Governor Somkid Jantamarek, accompanied by Hua Hin district officer Polkrit Pongwalaisin and a cohort of local and provincial dignitaries, inspected the site yesterday evening. The assembled officials were briefed on the daunting challenge posed by a decade-old garbage mound, now an inferno hotspot spanning more than 20 rai (32,000 square metres).

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With the clock ticking, a concerted effort led by the response team, in tandem with Hua Hin Municipality and the Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office, has been underway. Heavy machinery, including excavators and backhoes, has been deployed to create access around the blaze. Municipal water trucks have been dousing the flames, aiming to quell the conflagration and curb smoke emissions.

Governor Somkid affirmed plans to escalate efforts.

“We are bringing in additional heavy machinery tomorrow to manage the fire more effectively.”

With the depth of the garbage estimated at 5 meters in places, targeted interventions are deemed necessary.

While air quality monitoring assures safety within permissible limits, concerns loom over public health impacts. Dr Wora Selawattanakul, a public health doctor, flagged respiratory distress and other symptoms triggered by the smoke, particularly among vulnerable groups.

To mitigate immediate health risks, local health personnel, alongside civic leaders, have sprung into action, distributing relief supplies and dispensing medical advice to affected residents, reported Hua Hin Today.

Urgent calls echo through Hua Hin’s streets, urging inhabitants, especially those vulnerable, to seek refuge indoors and shield themselves from the stifling smoke engulfing the city.

Environment NewsHua Hin NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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