Air emergency at dump site (updated)
published : 17 Mar 2014 at 07:57
writer: Terry Fredrickson
A massive fire broke out at a garbage dump covering 150 rai of land on Sunday afternoon and it has continued throughout today as firefighters try to contain the blaze.
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Helicopters have been brought in to fight the blaze. SOMCHAI POOMLARD
People living near to a fire-ravaged rubbish dump in Samut Prakan are being asked to voluntarily evacuate the area due to dangerously high levels of toxic substances in the air more than 24 hours after the blaze began.
More than 20 fire trucks were sent to the scene to battle the flames. Firefighters are spraying water over the dump to keep the fire from spreading, while helicopters are pouring water over areas not reachable by ground vehicles. It is likely to take firefighters another few days to completely put out the fire.
According to reports on Monday afternoon, smoke from the fire is affecting people living in three districts of outer Bangkok – Bang Na, Lat Krabang and Prawes. Members of the public are complaining of thick smoke and the smell of plastic burning.
The Pollution Control Department on Monday measured chemical vapour at the dump site and in communities within a 200 metre radius. It found dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide in the air at the dump site, measuring 175 parts per million (ppm), compared to the maximum standard of 27ppm. However, the levels recorded in surrounding communities was only 10ppm, Jirawut Jiamsakul, an official from the department's Chemical Emergency Response Centre, said.
The centre meanwhile found the level of sulphur dioxide in the air at the dump site was 4.5ppm, far above the 0.2ppm standard. The proportion of volatile organic compound (VOC) in the area was also too high at 0.9-1.0ppm, exceeding the 0.0ppm standard.
Mr Jurawut said around 200 people from 90 families in three communities situated closest to the fire location have already evacuated. However, there are 1,480 households in the direct vicinity of the fire that may be affected by high levels of pollution in the air.
A fire which started in a large garbage dump in Samut Prakan province yesterday continued to burn fiercely on Monday and the area has been declared a disaster zone.
The burning garbage dump covers covering more than 100 rai in tambon Praeksa in Muang district of Samut Prakan.
Provincial governor Kanit Iamrahong said he called a meeting of officials in tambon Praeksa yesterday and declared the site a disaster zone to keep people out of the area and make it easier for emergency services battling to put put the fire.
He said the extent of the fire had been contained, but it continued to send billows of smoke over the area. Firefighters were continuing to spray water to keep the fire from spreading.
Fire rampages through garbage dump
SAMUT PRAKAN — A massive fire broke out at a garbage dump covering 150 rai of land on Sunday afternoon and continued into late evening as firefighters tried to contain the blaze.
The garbage site is situated in Soi Praksa 8 in tambon Praksa of Muang district. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire that began in the central part of the landfill at 1pm and spread quickly to cover more than 20 rai as of late Sunday evening.
Residents watch the fire as it continues into the night. THANARAK KHOONTON
More than 20 fire trucks were sent to the scene to battle the flames. The blaze sent thick, polluted black smoke high into the sky, affecting residents in nearby communities. The smoke carried a strong stench with it.
Local officials said heavy winds were complicating efforts to control the flames.
Reports said the site was previously operated by a private company but had been closed for years. However garbage trucks were still regularly seen dumping garbage there.
Police Radio FM 91 station reported that firefighters could not put out the fire as of 8pm and it was expected that they would be working all night.
Learn from listening
- authority (noun): a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
- belongings: the things you own - ข้าวของเครื่องใช้
- billow (noun): a moving mass or cloud of smoke, steam, etc. like a wave - คลื่นใหญ่พองออก
- blaze: a large fire that causes a lot of damage - เพลิง
- cause: the person or thing that makes something happen - สาเหตุ
- community: the people living in one particular area - ชุมชน
- complicate: to make something more difficult to deal with, do or understand - ทำให้ยาก, ทำให้ซับซ้อน
- contain: to prevent from spreading; to keep within limits - จำกัด,ควบคุมไว้
- declare: to announce officially - ประกาศ
- disaster: an unexpected event, such as a very bad accident, a flood or a fire, that kills a lot of people or causes a lot of damage - ภัยพิบัติ ความหายนะ
- dump (noun): a place where waste or rubbish/garbage is taken and left - ที่ทิ้งขยะ, กองขยะ
- emergency: an unexpected situation involving danger in which immediate action is necessary - เหตุฉุกเฉิน
- evacuate: to leave a place because it is not safe - อพยพออกจากพื้นที่
- evacuation: moving people from a place of danger to a safer place - การอพยพ
- exceed: to be more than something; to go beyond a limit - เกินกว่าที่กำหนด
- extent: size - ขนาด
- in case: if something happens - ในกรณีที่
- investigate: to try to find out the facts about something in order to learn the truth about it - ตรวจสอบหาความจริง
- landfill (noun): an area of land where large amounts of waste material are kept and buried under the earth - หลุมฝังกลบ, สถานที่ฝังกลบขยะมูลฝอย
- massive: very large in size, amount or number - ใหญ่โต
- maximum: the most possible - ที่สูงสุด ที่มากที่สุด
- meanwhile: at the same time - ในเวลาเดียวกัน
- operate: to carry out an activity like running a business - ดำเนินการ
- proportion: part or share of a whole - สัดส่วน
- rampage (verb): to behave in an uncontrolled, violent way; to be out of control in a destructive way - อาละวาด
- ravaged: destroyed; damaged very badly - ถูกทำลาย, เสียหาย, ถูกล้างผลาญ
- regularly: done or happening often, especially with the same time and space in between each activity and the next - เป็นประจำ, เสมอๆ
- resident: a person who lives in a particular area - ผู้ที่อาศัยในท้องที่
- site: a place where something is located - สถานที่
- situated: located - ตั้งอยู่ที่
- spread: to gradually affect or cover a larger area - แพร่กระจาย
- stench: a strong unpleasant smell - กลิ่นเหม็น,กลิ่นสาบ
- thick: having a larger distance between opposite sides or surfaces than other similar objects or than normal - หนา
- toxic: poisonous and harmful to people, animals or the environment - เป็นพิษ
- vapour: gas or extremely small drops of liquid which result from the heating of a liquid or solid - ไอน้ำ
- vicinity: an area near a particular place - บริเวณใกลเคียง
- volatile: of something that may change suddenly or become more dangerous - ที่ปะทุได้ง่าย
- voluntarily: done because you choose to do it rather than because you have to - ด้วยความสมัครใจ
- zone: an area that has an important or typical feature; an area where a particular activity is allowed or not allowed - พื้นที่, บริเวณ, เขต