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02 avr. 2019 | 03h25 UTC

Thailand: Officials express concern over unhealthy levels of air pollution in April /update 1

Thailand Alerte de sécurité

Thai authorities, including King Rama X and PM Prayut, express concern over continued high levels of air pollution in northern Thailand; unhealthy levels of air pollution expected to continue throughout April

TIMEFRAME expected from 2/4/2019, 12h00 until 15/5/2019, 11h59 (Asia/Bangkok). COUNTRY/REGION Chiang Mai, Thailand, Chiang Rai, Nan province, Phrae province, Phayao province, Mae Hong Son province, Lamphun province, Tak province

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Event

Thai authorities warned that continuing unhealthy levels of air pollution in northern Thailand are expected to persist throughout April due to forest and farmland fires. King Maha Vijaralongkorn, or Rama X, urged the government to take action and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha flew to Chiang Mai on Tuesday, April 2, to assess the situation. As of Tuesday, the provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Mae Hong Son are recording "hazardous" PM2.5 levels of 300-600, far above the WHO standard of 25. Unhealthy conditions are expected to persist across northern Thailand until the rainy season begins in May, including the provinces of Lampang, Chiang Rai, Nan, Phrae, Phayao, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Lamphun, and Tak.

Context

Air Quality Index (AQI) is measured by PM2.5 and PM10 indices, which measure particulate levels of 2.5 or 10 micrometers in diameter. Exposure to high levels of PM2.5 (fine particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers) can lead to various health issues, such as eye and skin irritation and headaches and may aggravate cardiac and respiratory conditions.

Northern Thailand regularly experiences high levels of air pollution during the dry season due to open burning and forest fires in Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar.

Advice

Individuals in northern Thailand are advised to monitor air quality index reports, limit outdoor activities, and use air filters and air conditioning when possible. Children and those with respiratory illnesses are advised to exercise additional precautions. Do not hesitate to seek medical attention if experiencing breathing difficulties or other health concerns.

 

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