By Somchai Samart
Thananchai Wannasuk, director of Regional Environmental Office 16 based in Songkhla, said the level topped 100 micrograms per cubic metre of air – double the safe limit accepted in Thailand.
Hat Yai in Songkhla was at 104mcg at 1pm and an hour later 100mcg of PM2.5 – airborne particulates 2.5 microns or less in diameter. Yala was at 106mcg at 1pm and 98mcg at 2pm.
A shift in the wind direction is blamed for bringing the Indonesian haze into Thailand, which had escaped adverse effects from September 15-17, when smoke from scores of fire hotspots on Sumatra was choking other nearby territories.
With the wind still heading northwest, Thananchai said Thailand could be in worse shape still when his office’s 24-hour PM2.5 reading is announced tomorrow (September 19).