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Haze in Singapore hits new high, PSI at 321 at 10pm

Published on Jun 19, 2013 11:04 PM
 
HDB flats in Toa Payoh shrouded in haze at 9.10pm on Wednesday, June 19, 2013. Singapore's air is now "hazardous" as the Pollutant Standards Index soared to 321 at 10pm, the worst reading in its history. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE'S air is now "hazardous" as the Pollutant Standards Index soared to 321 at 10pm, the worst reading in its history.

Air becomes "hazardous" when the index passes 300. The previous worst reading was 226, in 1997.

The Singapore Armed Forces has stopped all outfield training until further notice. Several other organisations such as the Singapore Civil Defence Force and Ministry of Home Affairs all reduced physical and outdoor training when the index crossed 100, while NTUC FairPrice has issued face masks to all of its pump attendants at its petrol stations.

Earlier on Wednesday, Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan acknowledged that Singaporeans are "very frustrated, angry and distressed about the situation".

Both Dr Balakrishnan and Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam spoke to their Indonesian counterparts on Tuesday to urge them to take tougher action against companies responsible for the illegal burning.

The National Environment Agency said on Tuesday night that haze is likely to last for the next few days, and is the result of fires in Sumatra, Indonesia.