The Regional Environment Office 15 (REO 15), based in Phuket, yesterday issued an advisory for people to monitor their ease of breathing following a dust haze from Bangladesh and Myanmar settling over the island.
However, despite readings from the Pollution Control Department confirming that the air quality today is even worse than yesterday, the REO 15 office has yet to issue any advisory today.
Meanwhile, the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) just after 10am today posted a notice reporting an AQI (air quality index) reading of 121, with a PM2.5 reading for Phuket of 59.
The notice cited its readings from the Air4Thai monitoring portal promoted by Thai officials.
The AQI of 121 and PM2.5 reading of 59, like yesterday, was classified “Orange”, meaning “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”.
An ‘Orange’ category warning carries the caution:
The general public the advisory urged that health monitoring should be performed. “If there are initial symptoms such as cough, difficulty breathing, eye irritation, the duration of outdoor activities should be shortened, or use protective equipment if needed.”
People who need special health care were advised, “The amount of time spent outdoors should be shortened, or use protective equipment if needed. If you have health symptoms such as a cough, difficulty breathing, inflamed eyes, chest pain, headache, irregular heartbeat, nausea, fatigue, you should consult your doctor.”
Of note, readings delivered by worldwide air-quality monitoring portal aqicn.org indicated much worse air quality over Phuket today, with plain red “Unhealthy” readings for Chalong (163) and Phuket Town (150).
Fellow global air pollution monitoring service IQAir operated out of Switzerland also today presented a plain red “Unhealthy” air-quality reading for Phuket of 168.
Both aqicn. org and the Switzerland-based IQAir deliver air-pollution readings from raw data provided by the Pollution Control Department.
The Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket) this morning posted a notice issued by the Thailand Fire Monitoring System of the Royal Forest Department.
“There are some hot spots in the nearby provinces and the southwest wind which is bringing dust to Phuket. The wind in Phuket is still, so the dust cannot move out to other areas, leaving the air quality unhealthy,” said the notice.
“The air quality test in Tambon Talad Yai [Phuket Town] found that there is PM 2.5 dust about 59 µg./m3, which is considered unhealthy for general people.
“People should monitor themselves. If anyone develops a cough, difficulty breathing or eye irritations, please avoid or reduce the time doing outdoor activities and wear a protective face mask if necessary,” the notice advised.
“Expect [prevailing conditions] for 2-4 days after this. If the wind changes direction, the dust will be gone and [the air will return] back to normal,” the notice added.