Indonesian smoke haze arrives

Indonesian smoke haze arrives

The downtown area of Hat Yai in Songkhla province is covered with smoke haze on Thursday. (Photo by Assawin Pakkawan)
The downtown area of Hat Yai in Songkhla province is covered with smoke haze on Thursday. (Photo by Assawin Pakkawan)

Smoke haze from this year's burning-off in Indonesia is starting to affect the health of people in Narathiwat, Satun, Songkhla and Yala provinces, the Pollution Control Department said on Thursday.

Particulate matter up to 2.5 microns in diameter had exceeded the safety ceiling of 50 microgrammes per cubic metre of air over the past 24 hours in the four southern provinces, the department reported.

Particulate matter up to 10 microns exceeded the safety threshold of 120 microgrammes in Betong district of Yala.

Officials said the haze was caused by people clearing forest on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo to turn the land into palm and rubber plantations.

The smoke was being carried to Thailand by prevailing winds.

Regional Environmental Office 16 in Songkhla reported the haze was expected to lessen as the number of hotspots on Sumatra had dropped from 62 on Sunday to eight on Wednesday.


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