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Sever Air Pollution Warning Issued for Northern Thailand

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Sever Air Pollution Warning Issued for Northern Thailand

The Pollution Control Department has warned provinces in Northern Thailand they are on course for severe air pollution this week due to forest fires and still air in the region.

Over the upcoming long break of the Songkran holiday, temperatures are expected to rise across the country.

On Sunday, the Pollution Control Department said that the amount of pollution would be determined by how many hot spots are detected later this week.

During the past few days, the air quality across the central and northern regions has deteriorated, with an increase of particles with a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5). The tiny pollutants cause respiratory ailments and kill thousands every year.

In Bangkok, car exhausts are a major source of particles, but smoke from slash-and-burn crops and forest fires in the north, along with crop residues, are also blamed for thick smog.

The massive expansion of cornfields in northern Thailand is blamed in part for this situation.

Air Pollution in Chiang Mai and Bangkok

On Sunday, Bangkok and Chiang Mai were among the five most polluted cities in the world. At 4.30 pm, the IQAir ranking showed the northern city in fifth place, while the capital was second after Beijing. IQAir monitors air pollution around the world.

Chiang Mai and Bangkok, however, were not the most polluted areas in Thailand. That title was awarded to Muang district in Ubon Ratchathani. PM2.5 hit 123 µg/m3, compared to 93 in Bangkok’s Wang Thong Lang district and 63 at Chiang Mai’s Doi Suthep.

The most dangerous haze was in the Muang district of Uttaradit, where PM2.5 levels reached 95.

In the so-called orange and red zones, the Pollution Control Department advised people to stay indoors through Monday to avoid respiratory problems.

The Pollution Control Department has predicted that air quality would improve from Tuesday until the weekend. On Wednesday, Thailand begins its five-day Songkran holiday.

Temperatures are expected to rise across the country this week, according to weather forecasters. The north of the country could experience temperatures up to 40°C, making it the hottest place in the country.

According to the Meteorological Department, Bangkok’s highest temperature this week is 36°C.

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