Singapore haze reaching highly unhealthy levels

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Singapore haze 2015Hazy conditions in Singapore, a result of forest and peatland fires caused by slash-and-burn techniques used to clear land for farming and plantations on neighbouring Sumatra, have caused air pollution to reach a figure “between the high end of the unhealthy range and the low end of the very unhealthy range” on the Pollutant Standard Index, the city state’s National Environment Agency said on October 4.

Though there might be a slight improvement to the hazy situation from October 5, with readings dropping to the mid-level of the unhealthy range if wind directions shift, the city so far remains covered by pall of grayness that resembles wintry fog, obliterates the skyline and seeps inside homes.

The haze has polluted relations between Singapore and Indonesia, particularly after Indonesia’s Vice President Jusuf Kalla commented that neighbouring countries “already enjoy 11 months of clean fresh air from Indonesia” and suggested that it was no big deal if they suffered from the haze for the one month when forests were usually burned.

However, this year’s haze crisis could become one of the worst on record, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said, due to a prolonged dry season.”Conditions in Singapore and south-eastern Sumatra are tracking close to 1997,” said NASA scientist Dr Robert Field, adding that “If the forecasts for a longer dry season hold, this suggests 2015 will rank among the most severe events on record.”

Singapore had to shut its schools on September 25 and began distributing free antipollution masks to the elderly and other vulnerable people.

A number of events, most notably the first day of the Swimming World Cup finals, had to be cancelled as the haze lingered.

Singapore’s Strait Times looked into its archives and found that the haze problem has plagued the nation since the early 1970s (photostory here) and nothign much has changed.

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Hazy conditions in Singapore, a result of forest and peatland fires caused by slash-and-burn techniques used to clear land for farming and plantations on neighbouring Sumatra, have caused air pollution to reach a figure "between the high end of the unhealthy range and the low end of the very unhealthy range" on the Pollutant Standard Index, the city state's National Environment Agency said on October 4. Though there might be a slight improvement to the hazy situation from October 5, with readings dropping to the mid-level of the unhealthy range if wind directions shift, the city so far remains covered by pall...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Singapore haze 2015Hazy conditions in Singapore, a result of forest and peatland fires caused by slash-and-burn techniques used to clear land for farming and plantations on neighbouring Sumatra, have caused air pollution to reach a figure “between the high end of the unhealthy range and the low end of the very unhealthy range” on the Pollutant Standard Index, the city state’s National Environment Agency said on October 4.

Though there might be a slight improvement to the hazy situation from October 5, with readings dropping to the mid-level of the unhealthy range if wind directions shift, the city so far remains covered by pall of grayness that resembles wintry fog, obliterates the skyline and seeps inside homes.

The haze has polluted relations between Singapore and Indonesia, particularly after Indonesia’s Vice President Jusuf Kalla commented that neighbouring countries “already enjoy 11 months of clean fresh air from Indonesia” and suggested that it was no big deal if they suffered from the haze for the one month when forests were usually burned.

However, this year’s haze crisis could become one of the worst on record, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said, due to a prolonged dry season.”Conditions in Singapore and south-eastern Sumatra are tracking close to 1997,” said NASA scientist Dr Robert Field, adding that “If the forecasts for a longer dry season hold, this suggests 2015 will rank among the most severe events on record.”

Singapore had to shut its schools on September 25 and began distributing free antipollution masks to the elderly and other vulnerable people.

A number of events, most notably the first day of the Swimming World Cup finals, had to be cancelled as the haze lingered.

Singapore’s Strait Times looked into its archives and found that the haze problem has plagued the nation since the early 1970s (photostory here) and nothign much has changed.

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