Haze watch: Air quality in Singapore stay in the 'Unhealthy' range
Air quality remained in the unhealthy range on Monday (Sept 14) following a hazy weekend which kept Singaporeans away from outdoor activities.
The 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) at 3pm was between 117 and 145. The unhealthy range is 101-200.
The three-hour PSI, an indicative reading not tied to health advisory, at 6pm is 150.
It peaked to the "Very Unhealthy" level of 222 overnight, but dropped to 65 at 8am before slowly creeping up again.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Sunday (Sept 13) that hazy conditions are expected to persist on Monday (Sept 14).
Air quality could deteriorate as the unfavourable winds may blow in denser haze from Sumatra. Thundery showers forecast for Singapore may bring only a short respite.
Map showing model analysis of the wind conditions in Southeast Asia. PHOTO: GOOGLE MAPS/ASEAN SPECIALISED METEOROLOGICAL CENTRE
Given the air quality forecast in Singapore, healthy people should avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion, especially the elderly, pregnant women and children.
Updates about the haze are available at www.haze.gov.sg.
Across the Causeway
In Malaysia, unhealthy air quality was recorded on Monday (Sept 14) morning in places such as Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
Indonesia has vowed before to end the seasonal fires but has failed each time to stop the haze, caused by slash-and-burn clearances on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, where large areas of forest concessions are held by pulp and paper and palm oil companies.
Indonesian soldiers extinguishing the fire at palm oil plantations in South Sumatra. PHOTO: REUTERS
Indonesian troops will be sent to the provinces of South Sumatra and Jambi, two of the main hotspots, Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said.
If necessary, the agency would also send in additional helicopters to help water-bomb fires. “We have mobilised national resources to put out the fires,” newly-appointed BNPB chief Willem Rampangilei said in a press release.
South Sumatra, one of the main centres of the fires, has alone reported 22,585 cases of acute respiratory tract infections since Friday (Sept 11).
In Indonesia, 14 helicopters on Monday (Sept 14) were dumping water on blazes on western Sumatra island and the Indonesian part of Borneo island and “cloud-seeding”, which involves using chemicals to induce rain, the country’s disaster agency said.
Source: STOnline, Reuters