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Singapore's air now on the verge of being "very unhealthy", PSI at 190

Published on Jun 19, 2013 8:38 PM
 
The Central Business District skyline is obscured by the haze over the Keppel container yard in Singapore on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 7.30pm. Singapore's air is now on the cusp of being "very unhealthy" as the Pollutant Standards Index soared to 190 at 8pm, the worst reading in 16 years. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE'S air is now on the cusp of being "very unhealthy" as the Pollutant Standards Index soared to 190 at 8pm, the worst reading in 16 years.

Air becomes very unhealthy when the index passes 200. The last time smog reached that level was in 1997, when the index hit 226.

Several organisations such as the Singapore Civil Defence Force, Singapore Armed Forces and Ministry of Home Affairs have all reduced physical and outdoor training in light of the health risks, 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.

 

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