Easy English news
Haze returns to the North
- Published: 27 Feb 2012 at 11.21
- Online news:
Once again the air in Thailand's northern provinces is full of haze, caused by hot, dry weather, forest fires and, most importantly, the burning of fields.
A passenger plane from Bangkok lands safely at Lampang airport despite poor visibility caused by thick haze. ASWIN WONGHNAWKEAW
Haze returns to the North
Haze is an annual problem, not just in northern Thailand, but in neighbouring countries as well.
The cause is hot dry weather, forest fires and slash-and-burn farming in the region.
This year, high levels of haze have gripped eight northern provinces, hampering visibility and causing health problems.
Many people have sought medical treatment for respiratory ailments and eye irritations at hospitals and clinics after being exposed to the air pollution for more than a week.
The affected provinces are Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang, Nan, Phrae and Phayao, where levels of small particulate matter smaller than 10 microns (PM10) have exceeded the safety level of 120 microgrammes per cubic metre (ug/cu m).
Lampang had the highest level of PM10 yesterday, with dust particles reaching 279 ug/cu m.
Poor visibility at Lampang airport yesterday caused Bangkok Airways services to be cancelled, delayed or diverted to Sukhothai.
The Public Health Ministry sped up distribution of face masks to people in affected areas and warned residents, especially the elderly, pregnant women, children and people with chronic diseases to stay indoors.
Officials at the northern environmental office say the haze problem is even worse than the most recent haze crisis five years ago.
Pollution Control Department chief Wijarn Simachaya yesterday conceded the situation was worrying in some areas, including Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district, where the PM10 level has exceeded the safety standard for 10 consecutive days.
The PCD chief urged state agencies to strictly enforce a ban on burning activities in affected provinces to ease the problem. "This is the only way to improve air quality in the northern provinces," he said.
Mr Wijarn said he hoped the situation would improve in the next couple of days as the Meteorological Department had forecast rainfall in the northeastern region this week.
Rain would increase humidity in the air and ease the dust problem in the North, Mr Wijarn said.
Adapted from a story in today's Bangkok Post by Kultida Samabuddhi.
visibility – how clearly objects can be seen, or how far you can see clearly, usually because of the weather conditions ทัศนวิสัย
haze – water, smoke or dust in the air that makes it difficult to see clearly หมอกควัน
annual – happening once a year ประจำปี
neighbouring – located or living near or next to a place or person ติดกัน, ที่อยู่ใกล้เคียง, ที่ตั้งอยู่ใกล้เคียง
slash-and-burn – involving the cutting and burning of forests or woodlands to create fields ไร่เลื่อนลอย
level – the amount of something that exists in a particular situation at a particular time ระดับ
grip – to have a strong affect on something มีผลกระทบ
hamper – to stop someone or something from making progress or developing; to hinder ขัดขวาง, เป็นอุปสรรค
seek (medical treatment) – to ask somebody for something, in this case, medical treatment ไปหาหมอ
respiratory – involving breathing เกี่ยวกับการหายใจ
ailment – an illness อาการป่วย, โรคทางกาย
irritation – a painful feeling in a part of the body, often with red skin or swelling การอักเสบ, การทำให้ระคายเคือง
exposed – not protected and in direct contact with something harmful ได้รับสารผิด
particle – an extremely small piece or amount of something อนุภาค ส่วนที่เล็กที่สุด ฝุ่นละอองขนาดเล็ก
particulate matter – extremely small particles of something, in this case, dust – very small pieces of dirt that cover surfaces inside buildings like a powder ฝุ่น
exceed – to be more than something; to go beyond a limit เกินกว่าที่กำหนด
delay – to make something happen at a later time than originally planned or expected เลื่อน
divert – to make somebody/something change direction เบนเส้นทาง
sped up (past of speed up) – caused to happen more quickly เร่งให้เร็ว, ทำให้เร็วขึ้น
distribution – the process of giving something out to many different places การแจกจ่าย
mask – something that you wear to cover part or all of your face หน้ากาก
residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
elderly – (of people) old สูงวัย, อาวุโส, อายุมาก
pregnant – having a baby developing inside the body ท้อง ตั้งครรภ์
chronic – (of a disease or pain) serious and lasting for a long time เป็นประจำ
crisis – a situation that has reached and extremely difficult or dangerous point ช่วงวิกฤต
concede – to admit that something is true ยอมรับว่าถูก
standard – a level of quality that is normal or acceptable for a particular person or in a particular situation มาตรฐาน
consecutive – following one after another in order ติดต่อกัน
urge – to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น
state – government รัฐบาล
strictly – demanding that rules, especially rules about behaviour, should be obeyed อย่างเข้มงวด
enforce – to make sure laws are obeyed บังคับให้ใช้, บังคับให้ทำ, ใช้กำลังบังคับให้ปฏิบัติตาม
ban – an official statement ordering people not to do something ห้าม
ease – to make a problem, situation or pain less severe or serious บรรเทา
improve – to get better ดีขึ้น
quality – the standard of something when it is compared to other things like it; how good or bad something is คุณภาพ
Meteorological Department (weather bureau) – the government department in charge of determining what the weather will be in the future กรมอุตุนิยมวิทยา
forecast – to make a statement about what will happen in the future based on information available now พยากรณ์
humidity – the amount of water that is present in the air ความชุ่มชื้น