People in Mae Sai district of Thailand’s northern province of Chiang Rai are to meet tomorrow to discuss the PM2.5 pollution problem, which has risen to seven times the safety limit.

Many residents say the sky has turned orange and visibility has reduced so much that they can no longer see the towering Tham Luang mountains. A number of motorcycle taxi drivers complain that they are suffocating and their eyes are constantly watering.

One netizen said in his Facebook post there are ten air purifiers in his house, but they still cannot cope with level of dust in the air.

According to the Geo-informatics and Space Development Agency, 12,581 hotspots were detected in Myanmar yesterday (Saturday), compared to 4,376 in Thailand, 8,535 in Laos, 744 in Cambodia, 720 in Vietnam and 31 in Malaysia. Most of the hotspots in Thailand are concentrated in Mae Hong Son (609), Nan (439) and Kanchanaburi (322).

Environmentalist and veteran journalist Vanchai Tantivitayapitak said in his Facebook post today that air pollution in Mae Sai is probably the worst in the world and yet the government has not done anything decisive to ease the situation.

If the government is really concerned about the people, he said they should have declared an emergency and mobilised all resources available to control the forest fires.

Vanchai noted that the provincial governor and the people are unable to deal with the crisis, yet the government has done nothing.

A lecturer on weather and the environment at Chiang Mai University said that the level of PM2.5 dust in the atmosphere in Laos and Myanmar remains high.



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