People with existing heart or respiratory ailment have been advised to reduce physical exertion and outdoor activity by the National Environmental Agency (NEA). This advisory has been released since the bout of haze, which fell over Singapore on Saturday.
The situation is attributed to the fires in Sumatra brought in by prevailing southwesterly winds.
NEA has released Singapore’s PSI readings today. According to the PSI charts, readings are recorded at a level of 76 at 1am, 72 at 8am and 71 at 10am.
PSI readings of less than 50 are considered “good,” 51 to 100 is “moderate” and higher than 101 is “unhealthy”.
Singapore’s environment minister, Yacoob Ibrahim, has reminded Indonesia to deal with the recurring problem of forest fires on the island of Sumatra after the smoke haze covered Singapore and western Malaysia.
“This is not the first time that we have informed the Indonesians that they should pay attention to the hotspots both in Sumatra and Borneo,” said Mr. Ibrahim, yesterday. “We are a bit disappointed that this is happening.”
He said should the situation worsen, officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations may hold a meeting to discuss which steps to take. ’’We cannot take this matter lightly,’’ Ibrahim told reporters according to a transcript of his remarks released by his ministry.
Smoke from forest fires mainly in Indonesia clouds parts of Southeast Asia every year as farmers on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra clear land by burning trees and bushes. Pollution levels reached hazardous levels in Malaysia yesterday. In 1997 and 1998, smoke haze caused economic losses of almost $9 billion as tourism fell and health-care costs rose.
Schools in the Muar area of Malaysia’s southern Johor state were advised to temporarily close because the haze reached a “hazardous” level,
Bernama reported today, citing Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. The Air Pollutant Index reached 400 yesterday in Malaysia,which is considered “dangerous,” the report said, citing Muhyiddin, who is also education minister.
Singapore’s environment minister, Mr Yacoob has expressed his views and call of action on the issue. “On many occasions we have told the Indonesians to take extra measures to ensure that this does not recur, if things worsen, we will probably register our concern again, perhaps on even stronger terms to our Indonesian colleagues.”IN Living in Singapore | October 21, 2010