Thailand — Thailand’s northern provinces of Chiang Mai remained covered by haze pollution while concerned agencies planned to use artificial rain to abate particulate dust particles, which are rising above safe levels.
Chiang Mai governor Panadda Disakul said haze pollution blanketed the province for a second day and that he has instructed district chiefs to impose strict measures against those lighting fires in farm and forest areas.
The governor however conceded that it was difficult to control the situation, which has enveloped the northern region, with several provinces facing levels of dust particles rising over all safe levels.
Mr Panadda said a meeting of concerned agencies will be held this week to jointly find an overall solution and to seek cooperation from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to use artificial rains to solve the problem.
If the situation worsens, the governor said, C-130 transport aircraft will be used to spray water over the skies of Chiang Mai provincial seat.
On Saturday, dust particles were measured at 179.16 microns at Chiang Mai City Hall.
Local residents began wearing surgical masks in an attempt to avoid eye and nose irritation.
Haze pollution remained critical in Lampang province on Saturday despite rain yesterday evening.
Dust levels at the city pillar shrine was measured on Saturday at 235.33 micrograms per cubic metre.
Chamnong Boonsil, Protected Area Regional Office 13 Lampang Branch, said smog at the city shrine is higher than other areas as it is located in an enclosed area, near a garbage dump and surrounded by construction sites.
Other areas – particularly Mae Mo district – which are covered by smog, but at less critical level than near the city pillar shrine, were believed to be caused by slash and burn farming.