SINGAPORE — The 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index in Singapore entered the 'Unhealthy' range on Saturday (7 October) morning, with the 8am reading in the east at a value of 105. Meanwhile, the PSI value in the central area was at 95 and the south at 84.
This comes after the number of hotspots detected in Sumatra "significantly increased" on Friday (6 October), which Singapore's National Environment Agency (NEA) had said in a media release. The NEA had said that the elevated levels of PM2.5 raised the likelihood of the 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index in Singapore entering the unhealthy range.
A value of 101 to 200 sits in the 'Unhealthy' range, while 201 to 300 is considered 'Very Unhealthy'.
According to the NEA, 212 hotspots were detected on Indonesia's largest island on Friday, compared with 65 on Thursday and 15 on Wednesday earlier in the week.
The smoke plumes and haze we "observed from satellite imagery over southern and central Sumatra", the NEA said, adding that a brief shift in the wind direction on Friday afternoon, from south-easterly to southerly, blew some of the lighter haze toward Singapore and caused a deterioration in air quality.
"There is a likelihood of haze affecting Singapore over the coming weekend if the fires persist and winds direction is unfavourable," the NEA said.
"Should the situation persist, the 24-hour PSI could enter the Unhealthy range (PSI >100) over the weekend" the NEA said.
Given the situation, the NEA will start providing daily haze advisories from Saturday evening (7 October).
"The daily haze advisory includes the 24-hour PSI forecast, which can be used by the public in planning their activities and events for the next 24 hours," said the NEA.
The NEA added that advisories have already been issued to various sectors, including healthcare institutions, pre- schools and schools, as well as workplaces.
These advisories remind the various sectors to take appropriate haze management measures should the 24-hour PSI enter the unhealthy range, especially to protect more vulnerable groups.
Neighbouring Malaysia, too, has been experiencing the haze, although Indonesia on Friday denied that forest and peat fires on Sumatra and Borneo islands were causing the situation.
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