Thursday, February 29, 2024
HomesingaporeChance of slight haze affecting Singapore if regional situation escalates: NEA

Chance of slight haze affecting Singapore if regional situation escalates: NEA

SINGAPORE: There is a chance of slight haze affecting Singapore if the regional situation escalates, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Saturday (Oct 14) in its daily haze advisory.

Dry conditions over Singapore and the surrounding region are forecast to continue for the next few days, with prevailing winds likely to blow from the south, and occasionally from the southwest.

Most parts of the region remained dry on Saturday, except for a few showers in northern Sumatra.

A total of 68 hotspots were detected mostly in the southern and central parts of Sumatra, fewer than the 126 hotspots detected on Friday.

“Moderate to dense smoke haze was observed over parts of southern and central Sumatra from satellite imagery, drifting towards the north and northwest,” said NEA.

As of 6pm on Saturday, the 1-hour PM2.5 concentration readings were in the normal range, while the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) ranged from 53 to 69, which is in the moderate range.

The 24-hour PSI for Singapore is forecast to be in the moderate range, said NEA. 

The skies have been mostly clear since last Saturday when the air quality fell into the unhealthy range for the first time since 2019.

Rain over Singapore and the surrounding region this week had lowered the likelihood of haze.

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said last Saturday that the haze situation is uncertain because it depends on a few factors, such as the number of hotspots and forest fires in the region, wind direction and whether it rains.

“It’s uncertain but we know that we are in an El Nino period, which means that it’s drier and hotter,” Ms Fu said.

“We need to be vigilant and expect this condition to be intermittent and come and go, or if it’s more serious, it may be with us for a while.”

NEA said the health impact of haze is dependent on a person’s health status, the PSI level, and the length and intensity of outdoor activity.

People should check the 1-hour PM2.5 concentration readings and personal guide before outdoor activities.

They can also use the 24-hour PSI forecast and health advisories to plan for their outdoor activities.

Air quality readings and advisories can be found on www.haze.gov.sg and the myENV app.

Related:

Commentary: Breaking the vicious cycle of haze and climate change in Southeast Asia
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