The Air Pollution Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI) posted on aqmthai Data provided by the Division of Air Quality Data of the Air Quality and Noise Management Bureau, which operates under Thailand’s Pollution Control Department, earlier today posted a PM2.5 reading for Phuket of 112, rising to 117 at 2pm today (Jan 18).
The forecast remains at a high of 137 later tonight.
According to the PCD, PM2.5 readings of 101-150 are classified as “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”.
The classification comes with the warning, “Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected. Ative children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.”
Kriangkrai Bamrungta, an officer at the PPHO, today told The Phuket News, “The air quality still is at a good level and we can handle the situation. The big problem that is causing worse air pollution are fires in Indonesia.
“We do advise people to wear a mask to protect themselves from the pollution [in addition to the COVID-19 requirement that all people in Phuket must wear a face mask or else face a fine of up to B20,000],” Mr Kriangkrai said.
“People wear a mask these days because of the COVID-19 situation, so everyone already knows to do this,” he said.
“If the air pollution gets worse, there will definitely be a caution issued,” Mr Kriangkrai added.
According to the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) based in Singapore, the latest weather and haze situation report noted, “Dry conditions prevailed over the Mekong sub-region. No smoke plumes were discernable in the sub-region but thin smoke haze was observed over parts of Myanmar and Thailand. There was slight improvement in the air quality over the central Mekong sub-region as good to moderate air quality values were reported across most stations there. Moderate to unhealthy air quality values continued to be reported at station across western Mekong sub-region. Over the other parts of the ASEAN region, wet conditions were observed.”
The ASMC’s weather and haze outlook forecast, “The existing dry conditions over the Mekong sub-region and the scattered showers over the other parts of the ASEAN region are expected to continue over the next few days. The strong prevailing winds are forecast to blow from the east or northeast over the north of the Equator, and blow from the west or northwest over the south of the Equator.”