PM Lee says haze likely to return
Don’t be too happy just yet about the haze improving, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is asking the nation to be prepared for another wave of haze. Let's look at the Singapore air quality status.
Well, it is not exactly another wave of haze, but the Singapore air quality is not likely to be great for several weeks—or worse–“a couple of months”. Fires have not ceased in Sumatera, so we have to be psychologically ready for the worst case scenario.
The haze is clearing up due to the switch in the low-level wind direction over Singapore. The API (Air Pollution Index) reading for Muar hit 750 which is double the level of hazardous— Muar and Ledang districts in Malaysia are under “haze emergency” until further notice.
Increase of hotspots in Sumatera
According to a report by Today Online, a total of a whopping 227 hotspots were detected in Sumatera yesterday. With this many hotspots, it seems unlikely that we will have clear skies for very long. The Singapore air quality may get worse, even though we have enjoyed a lower PSI over the last two days.
Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources confirms that the haze in Singapore is “not over yet”. Referring to satellite images show “more than 200 hotspots”—meaning there is “still a significant amount of haze being generated from these hotspots”.
Watch: Driving through the haze in Muar
RELATED: When will the haze end?
Long term and short term plans
During a dialogue session at to Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency, PM Lee tackled several questions about dealing with the haze and Singapore air quality.
More immediately, Singapore “would need to get the Indonesians to put out the fires” plus put an end to people starting new fires. PM Lee added: “In the long term, they would have to have the right way of farming … without having to start fires every year.”
Of course, all this will take time to come to pass. Some of these hotspots are in an area that is actually bigger than Singapore. PM Lee stated: “If the winds aim at us, we get hit, if the winds miss us, we are lucky … we must psychologically be prepared that … it could last a few weeks, maybe for a couple of months until the end of the rainy season.”
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Watch: Scenes of the Singapore air quality due to the haze