BANGKOK, Mar 28 (NNN-TNA) – Air pollution continued to plague Thailand’s northern provinces, with air pollution in some regions reaching unhealthy levels, government reports showed, yesterday.
The Pollution Control Department (PCD) reported that, air quality in most of the country’s 17 northern provinces reached unsafe levels, with PM 2.5 soaring to 561 micrograms per cubic metre in some areas in Chiang Rai province, 11 times higher than the national safe limit of 50 micrograms.
People in Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Nan and Chiang Mai provinces are advised to take extreme caution this week, PCD official, Sakda Tridech, said yesterday.
The Thai government has attributed the intense air pollution to smoke from forest fires and agricultural burning.
Satellite images from the Thai Geo-Informatics and Space Development Agency showed 5,572 fire hotspots were reported on Sunday in the country, the highest in five years.
Beginning today, summer monsoon winds would start affecting the upper northern region, which might ease the density of fine dust, Sakda said, in a weekly air pollution forecast.
Amid efforts to ease the air pollution problem, the National Environment Board urged local authorities in the northern provinces to ban burning activities until the end of Apr.
During the first nine weeks of this year, more than 1.32 million people in Thailand have been affected by air pollution-related illness, according to the Public Health Ministry.– NNN-TNA