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Hazardous Haze Returns to Chiang Rai for Songkran Holiday

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CHIANG RAI – Unhealthy smog levels are again being recorded in nine northern provinces and a central plains province, with the worst air again in Chiang Rai, the Pollution Control Department reported.

Director-general Pralong Damrongthai said hazardous levels of air pollution were detected in Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Phayao, Phrae and Tak provinces, and Nakhon Sawan province in the Central Plain.

Levels of particulate matter 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter (PM2.5) were measured at 51-194 microgrammes per cubic metre of air in the 24 hours to 9am Friday. The safe threshold for PM2.5 is set at 50μc³ in Thailand.

The highest reading, 194μc³, was in tambon Wiang Phang Kham of Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai, he said. The low end, 51μc³, was in tambon Pak Nam Pho of Muang district in Nakhon Sawan.

Thailand’s Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) advises tourists visiting Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and the surrounding provinces to monitor air quality index (AQI) reports and take necessary precautions amid air quality concerns in Northern Thailand.

Tourists can monitor the overall air quality of Thailand provided daily by the Pollution Control Department under the Ministry of Public Health, via the Air4Thai website (link) or download the mobile application “Air4Thai” on App Store (link) or Google Play (link).

Precautions people can take to help protect themselves against the unhealthy air include wearing an N95-rated face mask whenever going outside. Anyone experiencing respiratory problems or other suspected effects of the haze are advised to see a doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Hotels, attractions and tourist activities in Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and the surrounding provinces are operating normally with operators strictly follow safety guidelines issued by local authorities.

For air travel, the haze may affect flight operations causing delays; thus, passengers are advised to check the flight status from the airline that they are travelling on or ask the Airport’s authority for the latest update. Otherwise, all airports in Northern Thailand as well as all other modes of transportation, including rail, road and waterways, are operating normally.