Singapore Haze: the burning smell

Singapore Haze

Hazy skies and burning smell across Singapore. 24-hour PSI reaches moderate level

The haze appears to be back in Singapore,as netizens posted on social media photos of the hazy Singapore skyline and commented on the burning smell across the island on Friday (Aug 26).

The three-hour PSI – an indicative reading not tied to a health advisory – was 128.

The 24-hour PSI started to rise since 3am. The 1-hour PM2.5 reading hit 181 in western Singapore at 11am, followed by 124 in the north.

The reading is the lowest in the eastern part of the island at 47.

“The main cause of the haze and smell that Singapore is experiencing today is likely from the forest and peatland fires from land clearing practices in Sumatra” , said Assistant Professor Janice Lee from the Asian School of the Environment at Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

Ms Lee said the chances of the haze continuing into September are high, as it is the peak dry season where there is frequent land clearing activities using fires.

Dry weather conditions in Sumatra also means that Singapore can expect smoke from fires due to the South-Westerly winds in the region. However, the bands do not state what levels are healthy or not, unlike the 24-hour PSI,which is used by the authorities here as the reference for health advisories.

Singapore experienced one of the worst haze outbreaks last September when PSI almost hit hazardous levels, forcing schools to close.

The 24-hour PSI reading then was between 219 and 270, in the very unhealthy range. A PSI reading above the 300-point mark is considered hazardous.

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