“Please have face masks handy and keep watch for at least another week,” Chief Thanit told The Phuket News.
“If the air changes and becomes hazy again, please do not wait for a health warning to be issued. Start using a mask and see a doctor if you start experiencing breathing difficulties.
“This is especially important for children and the elderly, and people who already suffer an illness that affects their breathing, Try to make sure they stay indoors,” Chief Thanit urged.
The sky over Phuket has been clear since the wind moved to blow from the east on Wednesday, but Mr Thanit said he was unsure how long that might last.
“We need to keep an eye on it for at least another week. We don’t know which direction the wind will blow from next, so the haze from Indonesian forest fires might come back,” he said.
According to the Air Quality Data web portal provided by the Division of Air Quality Data, Air Quality and Noise Management Bureau (aqmthai) of the Pollution Control Department (PCD), the PM2.5 count (2.5 microgrammes of particle matter per cubic metre) for haze that Phuket last Sunday peaked at code-red “Unhealthy” reading of 170.
The readings throughout the day averaged around the 150 mark, though some reports in the media gave “Unhealthy” readings as high 184.
As of 11am today (Sept 27), that reading was a “Moderate” 55.
The Aqmthai website forecasts the clear weather in Phuket to continue to improve over the weekend, reaching an expected reading of 41-57 on Monday (Sept 30), but with conditions deteriorating again by next Thursday (Oct 3) to reach a predicted reading of 67. (See here.)