THE AIR quality index measured by the Public Health Office in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province at 5 a.m. this morning (Mar. 27) showed that the concentration of ultrafine dust particles smaller than 2.5 micrometres, known as PM2.5, was 738 micrograms per cubic metre, Sanook.com said.
This reading, published on AQICN.org, is 2.5 times higher than the toxic level of 300, or 14.76 times above the good air level of 50.
In addition to this district in Chiang Rai, the air quality across the upper northern region is poor this morning, with PM2.5 reaching the 500 µg/m³ level at Ban Hua Toh village, Ping Khong subdistrict in Chiang Mai’s Chiang Dao district and at Subdistrict Administrative Organization office in Wiang Tai subdistrict, Pai district, Mae Hong Son.
Some Twitter users called for help under #Savemaesai and #PM25 hashtags urging government agencies to work together to quickly solve this problem. In the short term they suggested that forest fires and burning be suppressed and in the long term poverty reduced both in Thailand and neighbouring countries as this leads to reliance on slash-and-burn agricultural practices.
Other netizens posted photos and video clips on Facebook and Tiktok showing the northern region covered with toxic smog.
Above: PM2.5 pollution in Chaing Rai this morning (Mar. 27). The Thai headline asks, “How can we breathe?” Front Page: Chiang Mai cloaked in heavy smog on Mar. 7, 2023. Both photos: Sanook.com