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Air quality to improve in next few days: NEA

SINGAPORE — Despite a mild haze that was detected yesterday, air quality has remained in the “Good” range (0-50) and is expected to improve over the next few days, said the National Environment Agency (NEA).

SINGAPORE — Despite a mild haze that was detected yesterday, air quality has remained in the “Good” range (0-50) and is expected to improve over the next few days, said the National Environment Agency (NEA).

Writing on his Facebook page, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan said the episode served as a “reminder that we can never take the environment for granted”.

In an advisory issued last evening, the NEA said air quality has “deteriorated” since Sunday. Yesterday’s 24-hr PSI reading at 6pm was in the range of 44 to 49.

The agency said recent dry weather conditions in the northern ASEAN region and parts of East Asia were the reasons behind the haze and added that 110 hot spots were detected in northern ASEAN on Dec 29. “The haze is due to dust particles conveyed by the winds blowing from the north or north-east,” wrote Dr Balakrishnan.

The hot spots detected were mainly concentrated in Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar, unlike in June, when Singapore experienced a prolonged haze situation due to fires in Sumatra, which caused the PSI reading to hit a record high of 401 .

The haze in June, the worst experienced by the Republic and Malaysia since 1997, prompted regional governments to discuss measures to tackle transboundary haze pollution more effectively. In October, ASEAN leaders formally adopted the Singapore-developed haze monitoring system for five member states: Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Thailand.

On the current mild haze, the NEA said it is monitoring the situation closely and will provide updates when necessary.

For the next few days, showers are forecast over Singapore and the NEA said it expects the air quality to improve and remain in the “Good” range.

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