Air quality in Singapore improves on Thursday, 24-hour PSI back in moderate range

People carrying umbrellas along Orchard Road on Sept 15, 2016. As of 9am on Thursday (Sept 17), the three-hour PSI, an indicative reading not tied to health advisory, was 62.
People carrying umbrellas along Orchard Road on Sept 15, 2016. As of 9am on Thursday (Sept 17), the three-hour PSI, an indicative reading not tied to health advisory, was 62. ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
A man wearing a mask at Orchard Road on Sept 15, 2016. As of 9am on Thursday (Sept 17), the three-hour PSI, an indicative reading not tied to health advisory, was 62.
A man wearing a mask at Orchard Road on Sept 15, 2016. As of 9am on Thursday (Sept 17), the three-hour PSI, an indicative reading not tied to health advisory, was 62.

SINGAPORE - After enduring a few days of unhealthy haze conditions, Singaporeans finally got a welcome breather on Thursday (Sept 17).

The 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) dropped to 80-100 - in the upper end of the moderate range - at 9am. As of 4pm, it fell further to between 71 and 88.

The unhealthy range is 101-200.

The three-hour PSI, an indicative reading not tied to health advisory, was 84 - also in the moderate zone - at 4pm.

In its latest update, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said hazy conditions have continued to ease due to prevailing winds blowing from the south-east. This is forecasted to continue for the rest of the day. 

The 24-hour PSI for the next 12 hours is expected to be in the high end of the moderate range but may enter the low end of the unhealthy range if unfavourable winds blow in haze from Sumatra, NEA added. 

 

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday launched two distribution exercises to help Singaporeans cope better with the haze.

Senior citizens will receive AIR+ Smart Masks, which can be fitted with a micro ventilator that helps with air ventilation, over the next few weeks. PM Lee also kicked off the nationwide distribution of the People's Association (PA) WeCare PAcks, each of which has one N95 mask, instant noodles and beverages, canned food and Vitamin C tablets.

The 24-hour PSI first breached the unhealthy mark last week, although the haze abated on Polling Day (Sept 11). But the reading was back in the unhealthy range last Saturday night - prompting organisers of several outdoor activities to cancel their events over the weekend - and remained there for the past three days.