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Hazy conditions to continue: NEA

SINGAPORE — Expect hazy conditions over Singapore and a burning smell to linger in the air for a few more days. According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), the haze and burning smell that hung over Singapore yesterday are from fires in Indonesia’s Sumatra, which are brought over by prevailing winds blowing from the south-west or western direction.

SINGAPORE — Expect hazy conditions over Singapore and a burning smell to linger in the air for a few more days. According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), the haze and burning smell that hung over Singapore yesterday are from fires in Indonesia’s Sumatra, which are brought over by prevailing winds blowing from the south-west or western direction.

It added that hazy conditions are “expected occasionally over this period” as satellite images have shown smoke plumes, originating from hot spots in Riau province, being blown towards Singapore. The winds are forecasted to occasionally blow from the south-west or western direction “for the next few days”, said the NEA. At least 15 callers to the MediaCorp News Hotline reported poor visibility and a burning smell across many parts of the island, such as West Coast, Yishun, Toa Payoh, Punggol and Pasir Ris.

Despite these reports, the overall Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) readings across the island ranged between 28 and 43 as at 4pm yesterday — falling into the “good” range. A reading below 50 is classified as “good”, higher than 50 is “moderate” and anything higher than 100 is “unhealthy”. The level of PM2.5, or very fine particulate matter, was between 20 to 30 micrograms per cubic metre, yesterday.

Singapore’s air quality was generally good for the first three months of this year, with the PSI reading just crossing over into the “moderate” range on March 27, when it reached 53.

Several residents TODAY spoke to experienced sinus problems due to the poor air quality.

Mr Siah H D, 25, who is self-employed and works in an outdoor environment, said: “Several of my colleagues started coughing, while my nose is running a marathon.”

Student Tan Jie Ying, 24, who experienced sinus problems and dry eyes, was confused between the “good” PSI readings as opposed to the hazy conditions she experienced in her Punggol-area home. She questioned: “How can the numbers fall within the good range when it is so smoggy and there is an obvious burning smell in the air?”

The PSI readings reflected on the NEA’s website are based on 24-hour readings, which are updated at 8am, 12pm and 4pm daily. The NEA said it is monitoring the situation closely and will provide further updates when necessary. Woo Sian Boon

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