SONGKHLA — The deep south provinces are facing dangerous amounts of PM2.5 dust due to smog blowing northward from the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Thanachai Wannasuk, director of the Environmental Office in Songkhla province, said the concentration of dust in the air in Songkhla, Yala and Pattani provinces is already high enough to affect health.
“What’s most worrying is that microdust particles, or PM2.5, are increasing on an hourly basis, particularly in Hat Yai district [of Songkhla]. PM 2.5 particles should not exceed 50 micrograms per cubic meter,” Thanachai said on Thursday.
Hat Yai is experiencing approximately 200 micrograms of microdust particles per cubic meter as of press time. In Hat Yai and Sadao districts of Songkhla, smog is visible to the naked eye, with local health services inundated with reports of people having difficulty breathing and eye irritation.
The southern province of Satun is also affected by the dust shroud.
The Air Pollution Research Station at Prince of Songkhla University in Hat Yai is urging people to refrain from outdoor activities. N95 masks should also be used when outdoors. Anyone facing difficulty breathing, chest pain, eye infection, or nausea should see a doctor immediately, experts advised.
Thanachai said his office will closely monitor the situation over the next two to three days.