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Northern Thailand grapples with severe global air contamination

Northern Thailand grapples with severe global air contaminationLegacy

The hazardous red-coded levels of PM2.5 shrouded most northern provinces of Thailand today, with Chiang Mai earning the unenviable title of the city with the most severe air contamination globally.

The Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) disclosed today, April 4, at 8am that 14 provinces were grappling with red (highly detrimental) levels of particulate matter 2.5 micrometres and below in diameter (PM2.5). The levels ranged between 75.9 and 173.6 microgrammes per cubic metre of air over the previous 24 hours, exceeding the safe threshold of 37.5µg/m³.

The highest level, 173.6, was recorded in Mae Hong Son, followed closely by 153.1 in Chiang Mai, 152.2 in Chiang Rai, 140.8 in Lamphun, 138.6 in Phayao, 128.9 in Lampang, 125.5 in Nan, 118.9 in Phrae, 105.8 in Uttaradit, 103.4 in Tak, 101.4 in Sukhothai, and 88.1 in Kamphaeng Phet. These provinces are all located in northern Thailand.

Furthermore, two upper Northeast provinces also experienced red levels of PM2.5 – recording 85.9 in Loei and 75.9 in Bueng Kan.

GISTDA also observed orange (initially unsafe) levels of PM2.5 in an additional 20 provinces, primarily in the Northeast. These levels fluctuated between 39.2 and 74.6µg/m³.

The provinces affected, in descending order, were Nakhon Phanom, Phitsanulok, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon, Phetchabun, Kalasin, Nong Khai, Khon Kaen, Mukdahan, Chaiyaphum, Maha Sarakham, Phichit, Amnat Charoen, Roi Et, Yasothon, Ubon Ratchathani, Uthai Thani, Kanchanaburi, and Nakhon Sawan.

Meanwhile, provinces in the lower central plain, the lower northeast, and the south reported moderate and good air quality. Samut Prakan boasted the best air quality with a PM2.5 reading of 10.6µg/m³, with Bangkok trailing at 11.5µg/m³.

According to the Swiss air quality technology company IQAir, Chiang Mai is the major city with the highest air pollution globally today. Jakarta, Hanoi, and Hangzhou were also listed as severely impacted cities, reported Bangkok Post.

GISTDA’s map vividly illustrates the red levels of PM2.5 engulfing the north on Monday morning.

Northern Thailand grapples with severe global air contamination | News by Thaiger
Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post

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