WITH air pollution in Chiang Mai and the rest of the northern region having deteriorated from mid-January onwards, artificial rainmaking operation is now starting to help reduce the unhealthy air, Matichon newspaper said this afternoon (Feb. 3).
Mr. Supit Pitaktham, deputy chief of the Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation Department, said after visiting Chiang Mai today that the level of hazardous airborne particles known as PM2.5 was between 47 – 128 micrograms per cubic metre in the northern city yesterday while PM10 rose to 62 – 188 micrograms per cubic metre. This ranges from the orange initial health impact level to the red level with a widespread effect on the health of people in the North.
As Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Chalermchai Sri-On has ordered rainmaking operations to urgently help the affected areas, the department has told its unit in Chiang Mai to quickly do so from today onwards.
The six targeted areas are Doi Phra Bat area of Lampang province, Doi Chorakhae in Chiang Rai, Doi Kong Mu in Mae Hong Son, Doi Khamo in Lamphun, and Doi Luang and Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai.
At 3 p.m. today a real-time air quality information platform operated by IQAir, a Swiss pollution technology company, placed Chiang Mai 13th with US AQI of 161 while Bangkok ranked 22rd with US AQI of 111.
Topping the index were Lahore, Pakistan – US AQI 223; Mumbai, India – 200; Kabul, Afghanistan – 191; Karachi, Pakistan – 187; and Chengdu, China -186.
Top: A pair of Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft from the Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation Department flying to stimulate the production of rain. Photo: AFP and published by NDTV
Front Page: A Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft from the Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation Department depositing a sodium chloride-based material above clouds in Nakhon Sawan. Photo: AFP and published by NDTV