Haze situation in Thailand’s South improves

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BANGKOK, June 26 – The haze situation in Thailand’s southern region improved this morning as heavy smog from Indonesia has declined with less hot spots detected.

Thailand’s Pollution Control Department found the number of hot spots in Indonesia’s Sumatra Island captured by satellite has fallen from 437 to 174, easing the smog situation which has spread to other neighbouring countries including Malaysia and Singapore.

Most of Thailand’s southern provinces remain under safe condition as in Narathiwat, the dust particles there were measured at 80 microgrammes per cubic metre (mg/cm3) this morning, while in Phuket, Songkhla, and Surat Thani, they were measured at between 34-50 mg/cm3.

The department is now closely monitoring the situation and will alert the public if the condition worsens.

In Trang, however, where dust particles were measured at 129 microgrammes per cubic metre, above the safe standard of 120 mg/cm3,  provincial health office chief Dr Withoon Luangdilok said the smog has blanketed 10 districts and affected the daily life of local people.

He said outdoor activities such as sports and exercise were halted. About 30,000 health masks were already distributed to vulnerable citizens including kids, elderly people and asthma patients.