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South on alert as Songkhla faces worst haze crisis in three years

South on alert as Songkhla faces worst haze crisis in three years

SONGKHLA: The forest fire haze from Indonesia has smothered the southern provinces of Songkhla and Yala. In Songkhla, the PM 2.5 value has reached 230 micrograms per cubic meter, which is a threat to health, officials have warned.

By National News Bureau of Thailand

Friday 20 September 2019, 09:34AM

Hat Yai in Songkhla is facing its worst haze crisis in three years, reports NNT. Photo: NNT

Hat Yai in Songkhla is facing its worst haze crisis in three years, reports NNT. Photo: NNT

People are strongly advised to refrain from outdoor activities and wear the N95 masks when they are outdoors.

The average hourly concentration value of PM 2.5 was higher than 230 micrograms per cubic meter on Sept 18 at 4pm, due to haze covering the entire lower southern region, especially in Hat Yai district.

The haze has reduced visibility. The haze situation is considered the worst for the past three years, reported state news agency NNT.

“People are strongly advised to refrain from outdoor activities, wear the N95 masks when they are outdoors and take care of their health. If they have any health symptoms, such as coughing, shortness of breath, conjunctivitis, chest pain, headache, irregular heartbeat, nausea or fatigue, they should consult a doctor immediately,” the agency urged.

Yala Governor Anuchit Trakoolmuthuta has sent urgent letters to District Chief Officers, Muang Yala District Mayor, Sateng Nok District Mayor and Betong District Mayor to inform people of the air quality in the area and how to be safe as the haze has begun to affect people’s health.

The concentration of smog in Yala is posing concerns among sensitive groups. Children, pregnant women, the elderly and patients with cardiovascular and respiratory diseases should be cautious, wear a protective masks and cover their mouth and eyes if required to prevent irritation, avoiding outdoor exercise and to seek medical attention if they experience any abnormal symptoms.

The provincial healthcare authority is closely monitoring the situation, and warned people to wear a protective mask.

Thai Residential

The skies in Yala this morning were covered with smog blown from forest fires in Indonesia, with little sun penetrating the haze. Air quality readings in Tambon Sateng show the PM2.5 level at 24 micrograms per cubic meter, and PM10 at 34 micrograms per cubic meter. The overall air quality is still considered very good, but with more airborne particles than previous days.

The Pollution Control Department has issued a warning for villagers in the southern region to monitor the situation closely, advising them to wear a protective mask when necessary.

Yala Provincial Public Health Office and related agencies have prepared equipment and masks and have asked villagers to refrain from burning items during this period to minimise the accumulation of airborne particles.

The haze was been caused by the change in the wind direction to the Southeast, NNT reported.

Read original stories here and here.


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Kurt | 27 September 2019 - 16:26:06

If NNT like to avoid the word  'Smog' as a attempt to 'talk down' the seriousness of the whole health attack, than it should be honest and label it as 'toxic haze'.  Just 'haze' only is a natural thing and not dangerous for health.

Kurt | 20 September 2019 - 11:45:03

Satellite Photos show that half of Sumatra is illegally set on fire by farmers. As usual at this time of the year. Singapore-, Malaysia-, and Thai newspapers can print yearly the same articles. Just the figures are variable. Poor mother nature, poor world environment. And poor people in the region.  Same of it in a few months time in Chiang Mai province again.


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