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From the Straight Times, 10 September 2019
Written by Audrey Tan - Environment Correspondent

Haze in Singapore may be back to stay: Winds, dry weather and 'persistent' hot spots in Sumatra to blame

SINGAPORE - The haze may be back, and could persist in coming weeks.

The 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) - a measure of air quality here - is steadily creeping towards unhealthy levels. At 3pm, air quality in southern Singapore was 99, nearly breaching the 101 reading that denotes "unhealthy" air quality.

If this happens, it will be the first time that air quality reaches unhealthy levels in 2019.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon (Sept 10) that the hazy conditions experienced in the morning were due to smoke haze from persistent hot spots in Sumatra in Indonesia, blown in by the prevailing winds.

Hazy conditions are expected to continue over the next few days, with winds forecast to continue blowing from the south or south-east.

Said the NEA: "With hot spot activities expected to persist in Sumatra, Singapore may continue to experience hazy conditions."

    Read the full article here.

Singapore Management University’s Associate Professor of Humanities Winston Chow, said wind direction and rainfall are the two biggest factors influencing whether haze is experienced here.

He said: “It appears that for at least the next five days or so, there is little chance of rain assisting firefighting efforts in the affected regions, so wind direction will be the major influence for haze in Singapore.”

Currently, winds are blowing from the south-east, which means Singapore is escaping the brunt of severe haze, which is now enveloping Pekanbaru and Jambi, Prof Chow noted.

He added though, that this may not last.

“There may be periodic times when the winds come directly from the south or south-west that means the smoke from hotspots closest to us will affect Singapore.”

Featured Photo: The view from SkyVille @ Dawson on Monday (Sept 9) afternoon when the PSI was 72.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Copyright © 2019 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co.


How to keep your family safe during a haze?

  • Stay Indoors when possible

  • Keep doors and windows closed

  • Use Air Purifiers in Living Room and Bed Rooms

  • Clean filters of Air Conditioners and Air Purifiers

  • Don't strain yourself too much

  • Outdoors, wear a mask

  • Increase your water intake

  • Wash hands and face at a regular interval

  • Eating more fresh fruit and vegetables to boost your immune system

Check out a few more useful tips on braving the haze here at Plus!

     

     


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