Southern Thailand was hit Thursday by the most severe haze ever from forest fires in Indonesia, forcing all schools in a province to close and disrupting flights in a popular tourist area, officials said.
The haze that has shrouded parts of Malaysia and Singapore for nearly two months reached hazardous levels in the Southern city of Songkhla, with the pollution index hitting a record-high reading of 365. A reading of 101-102 is unhealthy, 201-300 is very unhealthy, and above 300 is hazardous.
“This is a crisis,” said Halem Jemarican, head of the Southern Environment Office. He said the pollution index in southern Thailand has never exceeded 300 before.
Halem said this office has worked with other authorities to have all schools in Songkhla province send students home and all outdoor sports stadium to close temporarily. Warnings have been issued to vulnerable people such as children, the elderly and people with illnesses not to go out of their homes.
“The wind speed is very low this year in the south, causing the haze to stay in our skies longer,” Halem said by telephone.
An airport official in Hat Yai, a popular tourist area, said three flights bound for Bangkok were delayed Thursday morning because of the haze. A flight from Bangkok to Hat Yai was diverted to Surat Thani on Wednesday evening. The official declined to be identified because of working rules.
Local media reported that cloud seeding has been discussed as a way to dispel the haze in Southern Thailand, which is hundreds of kilometers from the forest from the forest fires in Indonesia’s Sumatra Island.
Southern Thailand boasts tropical beaches popular among tourists in Surat Thani and Phuket, two of the seven provinces suffering from the haze.
(The Jakarta Post, 22 October 2015)
1. What is the event reported in the news?
A. Southern Thailand was hit by the haze from Indonesia
B. The haze had forced all schools in Thailand to close
C. The flights were disrupted by the haze on Thursday
D. The haze from Indonesia was the worst ever last year
E. People suffered because of the haze from Indonesia
2. What is the main idea of paragraph 2?
A. Thailand is the most polluted country in Asia.
B. Thailand’s pollution index reads 201-300
C. The haze has reached a dangerous level
D. People living in Songkhla do a lot of reading
E. Songkhla is located in Southern Thailand
3. The following actions are taken by the authorities in response to the haze, EXCEPT:
A. closing sports stadiums
B. sending students home
C. closing all schools
D. issuing warnings
E. disrupting flights
4. Which statement is NOT true?
A. The pollution index in Southern Thailand has exceeded 300.
B. Seven provinces in Thailand suffered from the haze
C. The haze reached a hazardous level in the city of Songkhla
D. The local authorities had the citizens stay at home
E. People with illnesses had to be hospitalized
5. The haze stayed longer in Southern Thailand because of … .
A. the fine particles of dust in the air
B. the tropical weather in the area
C. the high pullution index
D. the low speed of the wind
E. the unusual thickness of the haze
6. The haze that has shrouded parts of Malaysia and Singapore for nearly two months reached hazardous levels in the Southern Thai city of Songkhla (paragraph 2). The following words are similar in meaning to the underlined word, EXCEPT:
7. The underlined word their in paragraph 4 of the news item refers to … .
A. vulnerable people
C. the elderly