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Phuket officials assure smog is clearing

PHUKET: Phuket officials have assured that the heavy smog that has plagued Phuket for days is now clearing, and that people can safely enjoy outdoor activities.

By The Phuket News

Monday 17 April 2023, 09:23AM

Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew at a meeting yesterday (Apr 16) said that the unclear air was a natural phenomenon in the summer. 

“It is not a problem of PM 2.5 dust and [he] has ordered the relevant agencies to closely monitor the situation,” said an official report.

Regardless, the Phuket Info Center, operated under the Phuket branch of the ministry of Interior, today posted photos proving otherwise. One image, taken from CCTV, showed heavy smog at 6:30am today, and another posted later showed the headlands at Patong very unclear as seen from Patong Beach at 8:30am.

Governor Narong yesterday recognised the poor air quality had raised concerns among many people, especially regarding PM 2.5 dust. 

“But from checking the data with the Southern Meteorological Center on the west coast, it is known that the weather in Phuket is still in good condition,” he said.

“It is not a problem of PM 2.5 dust at all, but a natural phenomenon in the summer which is about to change into the rainy season,” he added, said the official report.

“Therefore, I do not want people to worry. People can still engage in various outdoor activities due to the condition of the area of Phuket, which will have wind blowing all the time.

Blue Tree Phuket

“In addition, Phuket is a tourist city and a residential area, not agricultural area, so there isn’t much burning, and no hot spots of concern have been found [on the island], and I have instructed relevant agencies to closely monitor the situation,” Governor Narong continued.

“It is expected that such characteristics and part  of this may be due to climate change,” he said.

Despite his assurances, Governor Narong yesterday himself still urged people with health issues to remain vigilant for ill effects on their health brought on by the smog.

“The health of people at risk such as children, the elderly, pregnant women and patients with congenital diseases in the group of respiratory diseases and cardiovascular disease should be monitored. If there are initial symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, eye irritation, the duration of outdoor activities should be reduced for health care during this period,” he said.

Of note, the official government report of the air quality yesterday presented screenshots from the government-operated Air4Thai air-quality monitoring platform, showing all green and yellow indicators for Phuket.

Air4Thai stands alone in its assessment of Phuket’s recent air quality, with all other major air-quality monitoring platforms, including the Swiss-based IQAir, as presented by the Phuket Info Center this morning, showing red, light red and orange warning indicators for the island.

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agogohome | 19 April 2023 - 09:28:35

Strange, because in previous years it's always been blamed on farmers burning their land in Indonesia or Malaysia. Thank you governor, for correcting years of mis-understanding. :-))

JohnC | 18 April 2023 - 09:07:34

Hazy conditions are common in the heat build up before the rains finally come.  If it was smog pollution the constant strong winds we currently are experiencing would have blown it away weeks ago. Make the distinction between the two very different air conditions.

Old guy | 17 April 2023 - 21:56:10

It is always reassuring when a poor person tells you he will land the airplane, and don't worry because ”...no hot spots of concern have been found. ”

Kurt | 17 April 2023 - 11:38:45

"Heavy smog plagued Phuket for days!! Even a photo taken at 08:30 am today shows it is still there. And clearing at 09:23am as reported by PN? That is not true. Why was no Officialdom warning given the day that the smog plague started days ago? The transparant fooling agenda of Governor and his flock is astonishing.

Kurt | 17 April 2023 - 11:25:20

--- is a mystery for me, specially seen al the advices now given to the public what to do/how to behave under this smog blanket that bothers Phuket Island. The health of people at risk, we read.  Thai smog is not natural phenominon, where ever the smog comes from.

Kurt | 17 April 2023 - 11:19:53

Governor Narong was lying, proven otherwise by Phuket Info Center. Sickening,  the denial of serious health attacks by smog. Idiot fantasy to call poop beaches and smog ..'natural phenominons' just for the sake of tourist promotion.  Measured PM2.5 41+, far above the WHO safety figure of 25. How a Governor can say with dry eyes that Phuket's air conditions are good is a mystery for me....


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