Thick Smog Grips Thailand’s Chiang Mai; Health Of Locals & Tourists At Risk!

by Shreya Rathod
Thick Smog Grips Thailand’s Chiang Mai; Health Of Locals & Tourists At Risk!

Pollution is a growing problem, and it is not going to subside anytime soon. Besides Indian cities, Thailand is facing severe air pollution. Government on Monday, urged citizens to stay indoors and away from outdoor activities due to high pollution levels in Thailand’s northern city of Chiang Mai and surrounding provinces. Here’s everything you need to know about Thailand’s air pollution problem.

Thailand’s Chiang Mai Facing Severe Air Pollution

Credits: Canva (Rep Img)

Chiang Mai attracted 10.8 million visitors in pre-pandemic 2019 thanks to its temples, picturesque mountain views, and stylish cafés. Hotel reservations in the city, however, have decreased to 45% occupancy. The tourist city is one of the most polluted cities in the world according to IQAir due to smoke from crop stubble burning and forest fires.

People have petitioned the government to take action after seeing the dense cloud in photographs and videos. They went viral in the weeks before May’s eagerly awaited presidential election. The city is Thailand’s third largest city with 289 AQI (air quality index). It states that there are inhalable fine particles in the air. Tuesday saw Chiang Mai going about its business as usual despite data showing a dangerously high level of PM2.5 particles.

Also Read: Delhi’s Air Pollution Drives Away Overseas Patients Wanting To Visit Capital For Medical Tourism

Reasons For This Pollution

thailand air pollution
Credits: Canva (Rep Img)

According to an atmospheric expert at the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, farmers burning their fields are the biggest source of pollution. Chiang Mai’s terrain traps pollution and changes in global weather patterns combine to “push PM 2.5 into the perfect storm this year.”

According to the public health ministry, approximately two million Thais have required medical care just this year for respiratory illnesses brought on by air pollution. The combination of forest fires and agricultural burning in Thailand and its neighbouring nations has been blamed by the authorities.

Although there is much more to see and do in Chiang Mai, its stunning old temples are what are most well-known. The city is home to two tribal communities as well.

Also Read: PM Modi Praises Delhi Engineer Whose Portable Machine Can Be A Game Changer To Reduce Air Pollution

However, the increasing levels of pollution are posing a threat to the tourism industry.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva (Rep Img)