11 July 2024

People in Bangkok and its surroundings are being advised to brace for deteriorating air quality, with the amount of PM2.5 dust in the atmosphere reaching health-threatening levels from today until Monday.

Health Department chief Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai said today (Friday) that parents should take special care of their children, because tomorrow is National Children’s Day in Thailand and, if necessary, they should not let their children play in open-air playgrounds or should, at least, limit outdoor activities.

Air quality today in 31 areas in Bangkok and its peripherals is below standard, with the levels of PM2.5 dust ranging from 34-82 microns/cubic metre.

Air quality will, however, gradually improve from Tuesday.

Today, the Geo-informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISDA) reported data from the Suomi NPP satellite, that 307 hot spots were detected across Thailand yesterday, 139 more than the previous day.

Of the hot spots, 139 are in farmland, 63 in land reform area, 43 in forest reserves, 34 in communities, 11 along highways and 17 in conserved forests. Lop Buri province has the most hot spots at 29.

Most of the hot spots are scattered across northern, north-eastern and central regions, indicating that land clearing is underway by farmers to prepare for the next crop.

GISDA also detected 418 hot spots in Myanmar and 286 spots in Cambodia, noting that the hot spots in neighbouring countries will impact on air quality in Thailand’s border provinces.