Press "Enter" to skip to content

Central Plains Smog Crisis: GISTDA Maps Reveal Red-Zone Air Quality Emergency in Thailand

Imagine waking up on a Sunday morning expecting to be greeted by the gentle warmth of the sun, only to be met with a sinister, invisible adversary: smog. And not just any smog, but a treacherous blanket of ultra-fine particles that has stealthily conquered the skies. A recent map by GISTDA, the battlefield strategist in this war on pollution, paints a dire picture with swathes of red and orange slashing through the Central Plains—ominous colors coding for danger in the air we breathe.

The frontlines of this environmental onslaught are found in thirty-five provinces, a staggering half of the country’s total, with invisible assailants known as PM2.5 particles leading the charge. These microscopic marauders, measuring 2.5 micrometres or less, have decided to stage their latest act of rebellion right in the heart of the Central Plains. At ground zero, Samut Songkhram, the air is thick with tension—and pollutants, clocking in an alarming 108.6 microgrammes per cubic metre, almost thrice above the threshold of what’s deemed safe.

Close on its heels are eight other provinces in this most unwelcomed red zone. Take Samut Sakhon, with its 104.4µg/m³ shades of rouge, followed closely by Ratchaburi’s 89.8 and Petchaburi’s 87.9µg/m³. These unlikely contestants in the undesirable race to unhealthy atmosphere also include Samut Prakan, Rayong, Chai Nat, Chon Buri, and Nakhon Pathom—a veritable who’s who of areas gasping for a breath of fresh air below the safety line of 37.5µg/m³.

As though challenging the red supremacy, an additional twenty-six provinces are cloaked in the deceptive warmth of orange, signaling that the air is teetering on the edge of safe. This dubious honor roll reads like a travel itinerary gone awry, with Kanchanaburi, the bustling streets of Bangkok, and the rustic charm of Chachoengsao, among others, all lurking in the 39.7 to 73.9µg/m³ range.

The list extends, unfurling like a scroll of the concerned, through Nonthaburi’s urban sprawl, down to Prachuap Khiri Khan’s serene coasts, and over to Suphan Buri’s historical treasures. From Pathum Thani’s lakes to Uthai Thani’s forests, from Ayutthaya’s ancient ruins to Ang Thong’s majestic temples—all these destinations, along with the rest, now share a common, unwelcome bond. And so the battle for clear skies rages on, urging us to unite, for the sake of our lungs and our planet.

As the earth spins and the hours tick by, this map of despair demands our attention, a cartographic plea for action. With the air heavy and the skies dimmed, we find ourselves in the midst of a modern-day siege that requires modern-day warriors—scientists, policymakers, and citizens alike—to reclaim the blue above and bring back the breath of life to our Central Plains.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More from ThailandMore posts in Thailand »