Flights were turned away from Chiang Mai International Airport this week as Northern Thailand’s haze crisis deepened. ‘The Nation’ reported Tuesday that at least four pilots decided not to land their planes Monday as visibility was reduced to 800 meters due to the persistent smog.
PM10 air quality readings reached as high as an ‘unhealthy’ 175 this week according to readings at Chiang Mai’s City Hall, while ‘The Nation’ reported levels as high as 279.
Northern Thailand’s annual haze problem is caused by slash-and-burn farming at this time of year and affects the entire region, as well as parts of Burma (Myanmar) and Laos.
‘The Nation’ also reported that a 60-year-old man was arrested for alleged burning as authorities tried to control the problem: “Local bodies were trying to combat the haze with various measures; Chiang Mai sent fire trucks to sprinkle water into air while Mae Hong Son requested an artificial rain-making operation to reduce the dust.”
Residents of Chiang Mai and surrounding areas have been sharing images and videos of the extent of the haze on social media. Here is a selection.
These ‘before and after’ shots were sent in via our Facebook page:
Chiang Mai residents have also been tweeting their photos of the haze:
— Boonyarit Nilpai (@boonyarith) March 17, 2015
— Himawari is Happy (@chenlongsmom) March 17, 2015
— saris anuchitponkul (@SarisSarisanuc) March 17, 2015
— isthisjeab (@isthisjeab) March 17, 2015
This video, from @womenlearnthai, shows the popular Huay Teung Tao nature spot just outside Chiang Mai city Tuesday: