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Keep an eye on the wind, lest haze returns, cautions Phuket health chief

Keep an eye on the wind, lest haze returns, cautions Phuket health chief

PHUKET: The Chief of the Phuket Provincial Health Office, Chief Thanit Sermkaew, has cautioned that although the haze from Indonesian plantation burn-offs that blanketed the island earlier this week has since cleared, the harmful air may return if the fickle wind swings again.

weatherhealthpollution
By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Friday 27 September 2019, 12:35PM


A woman wears a face mask to prevent breathing in the haze pollutants in Phuket earlier this week. Photo: Tanyakluk Sakoot

A woman wears a face mask to prevent breathing in the haze pollutants in Phuket earlier this week. Photo: Tanyakluk Sakoot

“Please have face masks handy and keep watch for at least another week,” Chief Thanit told The Phuket News.

“If the air changes and becomes hazy again, please do not wait for a health warning to be issued. Start using a mask and see a doctor if you start experiencing breathing difficulties.

“This is especially important for children and the elderly, and people who already suffer an illness that affects their breathing, Try to make sure they stay indoors,” Chief Thanit urged.

The sky over Phuket has been clear since the wind moved to blow from the east on Wednesday, but Mr Thanit said he was unsure how long that might last.

“We need to keep an eye on it for at least another week. We don’t know which direction the wind will blow from next, so the haze from Indonesian forest fires might come back,” he said.

BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET

According to the Air Quality Data web portal provided by the Division of Air Quality Data, Air Quality and Noise Management Bureau (aqmthai) of the Pollution Control Department (PCD), the PM2.5 count (2.5 microgrammes of particle matter per cubic metre) for haze that Phuket last Sunday peaked at code-red “Unhealthy” reading of 170.

The readings throughout the day averaged around the 150 mark, though some reports in the media gave “Unhealthy” readings as high 184.

As of 11am today (Sept 27), that reading was a “Moderate” 55.

The Aqmthai website forecasts the clear weather in Phuket to continue to improve over the weekend, reaching an expected reading of 41-57 on Monday (Sept 30), but with conditions deteriorating again by next Thursday (Oct 3) to reach a predicted reading of 67. (See here.)

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Kurt | 27 September 2019 - 16:06:12

A lot of Officialdom bla bla. As Usual. Just proving their incompetence to stop it. But when are the Asean countries leaders going to stop this yearly billions costing air pollution problem for Sumatra, Singapore, Malaysia, and southern thai provinces stopping?  Just a question, fellows.

CaptainJack69 | 27 September 2019 - 13:03:26

The fires in the Amazon have been big news in recent weeks. Why is no one talking about the fact that Indonesia has spent the last 4 decades continuously burning so much primary rain-forest that its neighboring countries are completely blanketed in smoke? So much so that it's not even called smoke anymore but rather given a meteorological label like it's the actual weather.

Kurt | 27 September 2019 - 12:49:11

What facilities doctors provide you when you have breathing problems due to the toxic smog outside? Proving you a mask, sending you home with advice to stay indoors? Not go to work, not go to school?
Wait for thai figures of the economical damage due to illegal burnings on Sumatra.

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