Air unhealthy in 5 southern provinces

Air unhealthy in 5 southern provinces

Smoke haze covers the southern province of Songkhla on Monday. (Photo by Assawin Pakkawan)
Smoke haze covers the southern province of Songkhla on Monday. (Photo by Assawin Pakkawan)

Smoke haze from Indonesian forest fires was again at unsafe levels in five lower southern provinces on Monday, and could remain that way until late next month, authorities warned.

The Southern-East Coast Meteorological Centre reported that concentrations of particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter (PM2.5) exceeded the safety threshold of 50 microgrammes per cubic metre of air over 24 hours in Narathiwat, Phuket, Satun, Trang and Yala provinces.

The high pollution level was expected to continue in the South until at least this Thursday, as the southwesterly monsoon was strengthening and bringing more haze from the fires in Indonesia.

Rain would not significantly relieve the problem in the region, it said.

The northeasterly monsoon was expected to start in either the second or third week of next month and would blow the smoke away from the South, the centre said.

The Pollution Control Department reported on Monday that the hardest hit area was tambon Bang Nak of Muang district in Narathiwat, where the PM2.5 level reached 70 microgrammes per cubic metre of air in the past 24 hours.

The PM2.5 level in Hat Yai district of Songkhla dropped to 46 microgrammes on Monday.


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