Air quality in Phuket and a number of other provinces in South Thailand has improved and is now well within the limit set for public safety standards, according to Thailand’s Pollution Control Department.
The Department has released a report affirming that as of October 9, particulate matter in Surat Thani, Songkhla, Satun, Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Phuket is between 52 and 100 microgrammes per cubic metre of air. In Phuket specifically, the level has sharply decreased to 72 microgrammes per cubic metre.
Haze is largely reported as generated by smoke from Indonesian agricultural fires. The limit for public safety standards is at 120 microgrammes per cubic metre.
All concerned authorities in Thailand have joined hands to tackle the haze that covers some provinces in the South of Thailand. Immediate safety measures were put in place after the haze caused visibility reduction and particulate matter increment over the past few days.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Officer had a meeting with the Indonesian Ambassador for the cooperation to alleviate the situation. It would also seek the cooperation of haze-affected neighbours, such as, Malaysia in joining discussions with Indonesia.
Authorities are constantly monitoring the air quality and will make further announcement as the situation develops. In Phuket, in particular, a meeting was held among concerned authorities on 7 October, 2015 to address the situation, and a 24/7 Centre of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Region 18 – Phuket was set up to monitor the haze situation.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket Office has reported that hotels in Phuket are operating as normal. Likewise, all tourist activities, including tours to Ko Phi Phi and Phang-nga Bay, are operating as normal with operators strictly following safety guidelines issued by local authorities.
For air travel, all international airports in the South are operating normally. Local authorities and airlines are ready to assist passengers in the event of increased haze that affect air travel. All other modes of transportation, including rail, road and water transport are also operating normally.