The dreaded haze season is back. Hotspots have been detected in Malaysia – and Singapore might be next.
According to reports, four areas in Malaysia’s Klang valley have already recorded unhealthy Air Pollutant Index levels on Friday – Port Klang (147), Kuala Selangor (129), Shah Alam (120) and Cheras (105).
For years, the widespread practice of slash-and-burn to clear fields for agriculture in central Sumatra in Indonesia has caused unhealthy air levels in the region.
The impending hot and dry spell expected in Sumatra over the next two weeks raises concerns that the haze would worsen.
Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) also warns that it might get hazy in the next few weeks. The NEA website states that “Singapore could experience brief periods of slightly hazy conditions”, if the fires in the region persist and the “wind conditions change to bring the smoke haze further south”.
As of Friday 4pm, the 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reading in Singapore is at a low 50, indicating the presence of clean fresh air for the time being.
Over the last decade in Singapore, the PSI reading hit the ”unhealthy” range – a reading above 100 – on three occasions: 1997, 2006 and 2010.
The highest PSI ever recorded was in 1997 when it reached 226.
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