Singapore haze hits worst level, could last for weeks

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SG smogAir pollution in Singapore, caused by haze from forest fires in Sumatra, has hit its worst level on June 21, with the main index for air pollution reaching 401 at midday, exceeding previous highs of 371 on June 20 and 321 on June 19, both of which were record readings. Those measurements were classified as “hazardous” and can aggravate respiratory ailments.

Not only in Singapore, but also in Malaysia schools and businesses had to be shut down, and the Singapore government warned people to leave their houses without protective masks. Tourists are leaving the city state in droves, and public life has almost come to a standstill.

The thick smog could last for weeks, environmentalists said.

Singapore’s Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan asked Indonesia to take “urgent and definitive action” to combat the pollution at its source.

Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency said on June 21 it plans to “soon” use two helicopters in a “water-bombing” operation to assist more than 100 firefighters on the ground who are struggling to put out blazes.

The agency added that planes would be sent over parts of Sumatra in the next few days in a “cloud-seeding” effort to try to chemically induce rain. Some airports in Sumatra have also closed because of poor visibility and pollution levels that exceeded Singapore’s.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Air pollution in Singapore, caused by haze from forest fires in Sumatra, has hit its worst level on June 21, with the main index for air pollution reaching 401 at midday, exceeding previous highs of 371 on June 20 and 321 on June 19, both of which were record readings. Those measurements were classified as “hazardous” and can aggravate respiratory ailments.

Reading Time: 1 minute

SG smogAir pollution in Singapore, caused by haze from forest fires in Sumatra, has hit its worst level on June 21, with the main index for air pollution reaching 401 at midday, exceeding previous highs of 371 on June 20 and 321 on June 19, both of which were record readings. Those measurements were classified as “hazardous” and can aggravate respiratory ailments.

Not only in Singapore, but also in Malaysia schools and businesses had to be shut down, and the Singapore government warned people to leave their houses without protective masks. Tourists are leaving the city state in droves, and public life has almost come to a standstill.

The thick smog could last for weeks, environmentalists said.

Singapore’s Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan asked Indonesia to take “urgent and definitive action” to combat the pollution at its source.

Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency said on June 21 it plans to “soon” use two helicopters in a “water-bombing” operation to assist more than 100 firefighters on the ground who are struggling to put out blazes.

The agency added that planes would be sent over parts of Sumatra in the next few days in a “cloud-seeding” effort to try to chemically induce rain. Some airports in Sumatra have also closed because of poor visibility and pollution levels that exceeded Singapore’s.

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