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No let-up in unhealthy haze likely today

SINGAPORE — There will be no let-up from the haze today, with air quality possibly climbing into the low end of the unhealthy range in the next 24 hours.

No let-up in unhealthy haze likely today

The Singapore city skyline yesterday afternoon. The NEA has attributed the haze to the spread of smoke from Sumatra and the surrounding region under light wind conditions. Photo: Mugilan Rajasegeran

SINGAPORE — There will be no let-up from the haze today, with air quality possibly climbing into the low end of the unhealthy range in the next 24 hours.

The haze descended on Singapore yesterday morning, with the three-hour Pollutants Standards Index (PSI) creeping over 100 for several hours, before improving over the course of the day.

As at midnight, the 24-hour PSI was 90-98. The National Environment Agency (NEA) attributed the haze to the spread of smoke from Sumatra and the surrounding region under light wind conditions. The reading had risen steadily over the course of the day from 77-83 at 9am.

The number of hot spots fell to only six yesterday, down from 50 on Friday and 111 on Thursday but widespread smoke haze was observed in central and southern Sumatra.

The NEA said it still expects occasional hazy conditions today, with the 24-hour PSI for the next 24 hours fluctuating in the high end of the moderate range (51 to 100) to the low end of the unhealthy (101 to 200) range.

Event organisers are watching the lacklustre air quality closely.

Outdoor events taking place this weekend and the next include two Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-16 Championship matches this evening at the Jalan Besar Stadium, while the Formula One Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix is in two weeks.

Asked what their contingency plans were should the haze take a turn for the worse, and whether they were concerned about an impact on turnout, event organisers TODAY spoke to said they were monitoring the situation before deciding to activate any plans.

A Football Association of Singapore spokesperson said: “The safety and well-being of players is of utmost importance to the FAS and we are closely monitoring the haze situation together with the AFC. Should the haze in Singapore worsen considerably, a decision will be taken by AFC match officials on the most appropriate course of action, in the best interests of all parties.”

Netball Singapore chief executive officer Cyrus Medora said in previous years, it had postponed events when the PSI hit unhealthy levels.

“Some of players had wanted to continue and some didn’t, but we still said no,” he said. “(Our policy) is generally the same this time, and we will continue to monitor (the situation).”

The Pesta Sukan Netball Carnival will be held on Sept 12.

The People’s Association said its grassroots activities will carry on as the air quality is still within healthy range. “PA will continue to monitor the haze situation and stand guided by the 24-hour PSI forecast and health advisory issued by the NEA. As far as we know, there has been no drop in the number of people participating in our activities,” a spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for the Formula One Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix said the possibility of haze is ne of the many potential issues that are covered in its contingency plan.

“The plan was formulated and refined with stakeholders, government bodies and the Formula One community. In the event that the haze causes visibility, public health or operational issues Singapore GP would work closely with the relevant agencies before making any collective decisions regarding the event.”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY ADELENE WONG

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