11 July 2024

Chiang Mai is choked with PM2.5 dust, as the level exceeds 50 microns in many areas, particularly in Mueang Na sub-district of Chiang Dao district, where it was measured at 341 microns at 10am this morning (Saturday).

The Geo Informatics Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) reported 508 hotspots in Chiang Mai yesterday, 379 in Mae Hong Son and 335 in Chiang Rai.

For the whole country, 3,405 hotspots were detected yesterday, compared to 6,424 in Myanmar, 2,987 in Laos and 303 in Cambodia.

In Chiang Mai today, high PM2.5 levels were reported at 10am in Si Phum sub-district (197 microns), Chang Phuek sub-district (196 microns), Suthep sub-district (182 microns)and Mueang Na sub-district in Chiang Dao district (341 microns).

Representatives from all districts have been meeting since this morning, at the command centre, to try to find more ways to address the haze problem. Results of the meeting are not yet known.

In Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai, which has been blanketed by haze from forest and farm fires in neighbouring countries and locally for more than a week, the Pollution Control Department reported that the average PM2.5 level, at 309 microns, is regarded as health threatening.

The haze problem has driven many tourists away, said a vendor at Sailom Joy market in Mae Sai district, adding that she has no idea when the situation will improve.

A tour operator in Chiang Saen district, meanwhile, said that about 20% of advance bookings for Mekong River sight-seeing tours have been cancelled.