Singapore chokes on smoke from Indonesia

Sep 07, 2012
A general view shows haze and an overcast sky above the financial district in Singapore. Singapore registered its worst level of air pollution for the year as smoke from forest fires in Indonesia blew over the city-state, triggering a health warning.

Singapore registered its worst level of air pollution for the year on Friday as smoke from forest fires in Indonesia blew over the city-state, triggering a health warning.

As of 8am (0000 GMT) Singapore's Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) ranged from 65-75 after a night of thick, choking haze over the island. The air began to clear later in the morning thanks to favourable winds.

A PSI reading of 65-75 is still in the moderate range. Anything above 100 is considered unhealthy.

"For the past one week, an increase in hotspot activities was observed over Sumatra," the National Environment Agency said in its latest update.

"The current prevailing winds blowing from the southwest or south have transported the haze from fires in southern Sumatra towards Singapore," referring to the .

The agency said hazy conditions could still recur and advised people with heart or as well as children and to "avoid all physical activity outdoors."

"Everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion."

Singapore's Straits Times newspaper quoted a from West Kalimantan in Indonesia as saying that the haze in Singapore was likely from forest fires concentrated in the provinces of Jambi and South Sumatra.

Haze caused by the fires in Indonesia builds up during the dry season when farmers clean their land by burning, affecting tourism and contributing to health problems across the region.

Indonesia's government has outlawed land-clearing by fire but weak law enforcement means the ban is largely ignored.

Explore further: Seafood supply altered by climate change

Related Stories

Haze returns to Malaysia

Jun 16, 2012

Haze caused by forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia blanketed parts of Malaysia including the capital, causing air pollution to hit unhealthy levels.

Daily forecasts track smoke from southern fires

May 30, 2007

At the request of the Georgia State Department of Health, scientists with the Southern Research Station Smoke Management Team located at the Center for Forest Disturbance Science in Athens, GA, are producing daily smoke forecasts ...

Indonesia land clearance 'wiping out' orangutans

Mar 28, 2012

Critically-endangered orangutans in a protected area of Indonesia will be wiped out by the end of the year if land clearing is not stopped, a coalition of environmental groups warned Wednesday.

7.7-magnitude quake hits off Indonesian island

Oct 25, 2010

(AP) -- A powerful earthquake hit off western Indonesia late Monday, briefly triggering a tsunami warning that sent thousands of panicked residents fleeing to high ground. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

Saving Sumatra: Indonesia reaches historic agreement

Oct 09, 2008

The Indonesian government and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) today announced a bold commitment to protect the remaining forests and critical ecosystems of Sumatra, an Indonesian island that holds some of the world's most diverse ...

Recommended for you

Australia hails 'tremendous' UN barrier reef decision

2 hours ago

Australia Thursday hailed a United Nations decision to keep the Great Barrier Reef off its in danger list as "tremendous", but activists warned more must be done to improve the marine park's health.

Cities, regions, demand bigger climate say

9 hours ago

Leaders of city and regional governments gathered Wednesday in the French city of Lyon, in the grips of a western European heatwave, to demand a bigger stake in the global push to curb global warming.

A tale of two (soil) cities

9 hours ago

As we walk along a forest path, the soil beneath our feet seems like a uniform substance. However, it is an intricate network of soil particles, pores, minerals, soil microbes, and more. It is awash in variety.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.