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Smog coming from the North, says PSU professor

Smog coming from the North, says PSU professor

PHUKET: A professor at the Prince of Songkla University (PSU) Faculty of Science has pointed out that PM2.5 in the haze that has been blanketing Southern Thailand for the past week has come from the north of the country.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 20 April 2023, 10:51AM

Image: PSU

Image: PSU

The clarification came through an announcement by the Faculty of Science at PSU Hat Yai, in Songkhla province, the main campus and research facility for PSU in the country.

The Phuket Info Center, operated under the Phuket office of the Ministry of Interior, relayed the announcement this morning (Apr 20).

The clarification was made in response to growing claims online that incorrectly asserted that the smog was coming from Indonesia, said the announcement.

Asst Prof Dr Helmut Josef Durrast, Physics Program Lecturer at the PSU Faculty of Science, said he had monitored satellite images of the haze caused by agriculture and forest fires, which he said are the sources of smog in Thailand and other regions.

It was found that the current PM2.5 smog situation in Southern Thailand was influenced by the burning of agricultural and forestry areas in the north and northwestern regions of Southeast Asia, including Thailand and neighboring countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar.

“If the smog were from Indonesia, this could only be caused by the southwest monsoon winds, but there is no southwest monsoon at present,” Prof Durrast said.

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“Additionally, satellite images show that smog covers most of the Bay of Bengal and the Gulf of Thailand, which is the border between the northeast and southwest monsoon winds.

“The wind is not blowing strong. So it is expected that the southern area will still experience haze for a while,” he said.

“Some news agencies have published comments about the haze situation in Betong District, Yala Province, claiming that it is caused by Indonesia, which is not true. There are only a few fires there at this time,” Prof Durrast continued.

“The PM 2.5 smog situation will continue until the wind and rain change, especially the change in the southwest monsoon winds will cause stronger winds and a little bit of rain,” he said.

Of note, the post indicated people to follow or  to monitor the air quality situation, not the Thai-government regulated Air4Thai app.

“It is recommended that during this period, people in the area are asked to refrain from activities that cause PM 2.5, such as burning agricultural scraps, forestry materials or garbage in the open air. In addition, it is recommended to wear a mask for safety from PM 2.5 and COVID-19,” Prof Durrast concluded.

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DeKaaskopp | 21 April 2023 - 14:58:25

I recommend the "iqair" site.  The other site is not really reliable. 

Kurt | 21 April 2023 - 11:50:08

Recommendations Prof Durast are good. Problem is, the Thai polluters ignore that for years already. See on AQI that the air pollution in Chalong at 11 am was 111. That is 4.4 times the WHO health limit.


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