At 11am, Chiang Mai topped the list of most polluted cities in the world on the Air Visual website, with its air quality index coming in at the very unhealthy level of 225 points.
Pollution in the northern city has worsened over the past three days due to smoke from forest fires. The haze is so bad that even the Doi Suthep mountain is not visible, though flights have been able to take off and land at Chiang Mai Airport.
As of Tuesday morning, there were 211 hotspots, 139 of which were in preserved forests.
The pollution-detection station found PM2.5 – particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometres – in Chiang Mai city at seriously unsafe levels of between 106 and 113 micrograms per cubic metre of air (µg/m3).
Thailand puts safe levels of PM2.5 at 50µg/m3, while the World Health Organisation sets it at 25µg/m3.
On Monday night, it took 45 forest officials four hours to put out a fire at Doi Ton Phung mountain in Mae Takhrai National Park. The fire damaged 35 rai of land and had been set by locals for hunting.
Published : March 09, 2021
By : THE NATION