Chiang Mai’s Air Quality Plummets to World’s Worst for Second Time This Month

Thailand to Take Action After Chiang Mai Records World Worst Air Pollution
The PM 2.5 air pollution blankets the province of Chiang Mai (photo: Pattaya Mail)

For the second time in April, Chiang Mai reported the world’s worst air pollution on Tuesday morning as Air Quality levels reached an unhealthy high of 180.

Officials attributed forest and agricultural fires as the main reason for the concerning levels of smog that engulfed the city and urged residents to continue wearing face masks outdoors and motorists to drive with caution owing to the low visibility.

Deputy Governor of the northern province, Mr. Chatchawan Panya, met with relevant officials to discuss tackling the PM 2.5 air pollution and wildfire smoke in the region. Attendees included staff from district offices and related agencies who joined via video conferencing.

At the meeting, Mr. Chatchawan urged related agencies to double down on their preventive measures against illegal burning in forests and expressed gratitude for their hard work in suppressing wildfires during the month.

Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Gistda) reported an increase in hot spots in the northern region of Thailand, with Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Mae Hong Son having the highest number at 272, 265, and 197 respectively.

Myanmar was reported to have the most hotspots among neighboring countries at 4,489, followed by Laos with 1,673, Vietnam with 319, Cambodia with 28, and Malaysia with 17, according to Gistda’s report.

On the other hand, Laos’s Luang Prabang province saw an improvement in air pollution levels as the air quality index improved from an alarming level of over 500 last month to 147 this week, which is only unhealthy for sensitive groups, according to IQAir.