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Phuket, normally clear and scenic, has been shrouded by an unhealthy haze

Haze Hazard Hits New Heights: Warning to Boats After Deadly Speedboat Crash

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
PHUKET: Health officials on the holiday island of Phuket will be hoping today that unhealthy haze from Indonesia burning lifts before tourism is affected.

For almost a month the smoke has plagued Singapore and Malaysia, curtailing school and outdoor activities.

The captain of a speedboat in the Indonesian province of Jambi even blamed the haze today for poor visibility that led to a crash in which two people died.

Tourists will reconsider plans for visiting Phuket if the haze continues - and yesterday the unhealthy particles level was recorded at 173-200, the highest so far on the island.

People with respiratory disorders have reason to worry at a level 0f 120 and at 301, healthy people also begin to suffer.

In the worst air pollution readings, Singapore and Malaysia topped 400 and 700 respectively in 2013.

A level of 10 is considered normal.

The level of 200 on Phuket was recorded in the three hour period between noon and 3pm yesterday. Similar levels have been reached in Krabi, Phang Nga, Ranong and Trang provinces.

At 6am today, hazard levels on Phuket appeared to be improving.

Phuket Marine Office 5 director, Phuripat Theerakulpisut, warned small boat drivers yesterday that the haze had made conditions at sea less safe and reduced visibility down to one mile.

Thailand's government has yet to make a public comment about the haze, although law suits against the companies responsible are being demanded in Malaysia and Singapore.

Tourism is considered to be the one positive in Thailand's economic outlook at present, with increasing numbers of Chinese visiting. Phuket's high season is beginning and increasing numbers of Chinese are expected.

A worsening haze is leading Singaporeans to strike comparisons with Beijing, where haze is a constant hazard and many residents wear surgical masks.

In the past, Phuket meteorologists have even denied the haze has been caused by smoke from Indonesia, possibly in a misguided attempt to protect Phuket tourism even at the cost of peoples' health.

Comments

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So is Sept/Oct now the official haze season?

Posted by Haze me up on October 6, 2015 10:57

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How far north has the haze spread?

Posted by Lage on October 6, 2015 11:17

Editor Comment:

wel into thailand.

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With the haze, Chinese tourists will even more feel at home. But seriously, I did not now, so many Volkswagen on Phuket.

Posted by Lena on October 6, 2015 13:04

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Lage

like 100km North off Phuket, on W.Andaman coast,by the sea,I do not feel any effect,neither smell, nor irritation of respiratory system. There is a light breeze,and probably by the sea/right by the pool ,are places where impact that can be felt is minimum one.

However it is 100z% overcast,and,although this time of the year it is usually very cloudy weather anyway, it is combined with foggy view of horizon.

Also,I noticed some people occasionally heavily cpoughing as if they arrive on holidays with pneumonia- but I guess they can be sensitive to lower particles concentration.

Posted by Sue on October 6, 2015 15:07

Editor Comment:

Inside Phang Nga, the karsts disappear as if under a grey blanket and the haze extends hundreds of kilometres further north.

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@Lena you make me laugh many times good sense of humour. Are you single?

Posted by I am pretty far from ok on October 6, 2015 22:26

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I look forward to read about road accidents, in which car, van, bus drivers blame the haze for it.

Posted by Kurt on October 7, 2015 09:48

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How is the situation at Khao Lak ? Because I will fly on monday and I have a lung disease (COPD)

Posted by Petra on October 7, 2015 21:25

Editor Comment:

We hear mixed reports about Khao Lak. The haze level is probably not serious enough to cause a hospital admission but best consult your doctor and call the place where you are staying, if possible.


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