Northern Provinces Engulfed by Hazardous Air Pollution Levels

On Monday morning, dangerous red-alert levels of PM2.5 engulfed most northern provinces, with Chiang Mai listed as the city with the worst air pollution in the world.

At 8am on Monday, the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Gistda) announced that 14 provinces were under a red alert due to dangerously high levels of PM2.5, with concentrations ranging from 75.9 to 173.6 micrograms per cubic meter of air over the previous 24 hours.

These levels pose a serious health risk due to particles that are 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller.

Mae Hong Son recorded the highest pollution level at 173.6, topping a list of northern provinces with alarming PM2.5 levels.

Following were Chiang Mai at 153.1, Chiang Rai at 152.2, Lamphun at 140.8, Phayao at 138.6, Lampang at 128.9, Nan at 125.5, Phrae at 118.9, Uttaradit at 105.8, Tak at 103.4, Sukhothai at 101.4, and Kamphaeng Phet at 88.1.

Additionally, two northeastern provinces, Loei and Bueng Kan, also reported red-alert PM2.5 levels, signaling severe air quality concerns.

Twenty other provinces, predominantly in the Northeast, registered orange (initially unsafe) PM2.5 levels, with concentrations between 39.2 and 74.6µg/m³.

Listed from highest to lowest pollution levels, these provinces include Nakhon Phanom, Phitsanulok, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon, Phetchabun, Kalasin, Nong Khai, Khon Kaen, Mukdahan, Chaiyaphum, Maha Sarakham, Phichit, Amnat Charoen, Roi Et, Yasothon, Ubon Ratchathani, Uthai Thani, Kanchanaburi, and Nakhon Sawan.

Meanwhile, provinces in the lower Central Plain, the lower Northeast, and the South reported moderate to good air quality, with Samut Prakan showing the lowest PM2.5 concentration at 10.6µg/m³, closely followed by Bangkok.

IQAir, a Swiss air quality technology company, ranked Chiang Mai as the city with the world’s highest pollution on Monday morning, surpassing Jakarta, Hanoi, and Hangzhou.