Jul 23, 2013

    NEA: Expect slightly hazy skies today

    SINGAPORE could experience slight haziness today, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said yesterday.

    However, air quality is still expected to be good, with the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) forecast to be 50 or lower.

    But Singapore might see hazy conditions if the winds blow from the west or south-west, NEA said. The winds are expected to come from the south-south-east and south-south-west today.

    This comes amid a jump in the number of hot spots in Sumatra, with 252 detected yesterday, up from none last Wednesday. Dense smoke plumes were also seen from some of them.

    NEA chief executive Ronnie Tay wrote in and called Indonesian officials yesterday to "register Singapore's concerns over the sudden spike in hot-spot counts in Sumatra".

    He also extended Singapore's support and assistance to Indonesia's efforts to prevent the haze situation from recurring.

    An Indonesian official assured Mr Tay that the Indonesian government is monitoring the situation and taking action to suppress fires, such as through cloud seeding and water bombing.

    Indonesia's law-enforcement and socialisation efforts on the ground have been strengthened, too. More police and troops would be urgently considered for deployment in Riau, which has most of the hot spots.

    In Malaysia, the haze has already shrouded skies over Muar, Malacca and parts of Selangor, The Star reported.

    The Air Pollutant Index registered unhealthy air-quality readings of more than 100 at five locations yesterday afternoon.