SINGAPORE - The haze situation in Singapore improved on Saturday after the 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reached hazardous levels on Friday morning.
As at 11pm, the 24-hour PSI was 72-81 in the Moderate range, while the 3-hour PSI was 73.
The 24-hour PSI hit the hazardous range (above 300) on Thursday evening and climbed to 341 at 5am on Friday. It then dropped and remained in the higher end of the Very Unhealthy range until the end of the day.
The authorities said hazy conditions are expected to persist on Saturday as prevailing winds blow in from the south or south-east.
Improvements in the situation can be expected over the weekend, but hazy conditions are likely to persist.
Primary and secondary schools, kindergartens run by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and special education schools across Singapore were closed on Friday due to the hazy conditions.
According to the MOE, the schools will reopen on Monday (Sept 28) unless the 24-hour PSI forecast on Sunday indicates that a hazardous level of haze is expected.
At a briefing on Friday afternoon, Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said the Government will be reviewing its sustainable procurement policy to weed out errant companies, and look into supporting firms that are recognised for their sustainable practices.
Four Indonesian companies that are suspected to have links to the fires that are causing the haze have also been identified. They are: PT Rimba Hutani Mas, PT Sebangun Bumi Andalas Wood Industries, PT Bumi Sriwijaya Sentosa and PT Wachyuni Mandira.
A Singapore-listed company, Asia Pulp & Paper Company Ltd, has been served a notice by the NEA under Section 10 of the Transboundary Haze Pollution Act seeking information on its subsidiaries in Singapore and Indonesia, and fire-fighting measures taken by its suppliers in Indonesia.
Participants of the the ST Run at the Sports Hub will receive SMS alerts on Saturday evening to inform them if there is a drastic change in air quality that would lead to a cancellation of the event.
All running events will be called off if the air quality becomes unhealthy, but participants can still look forward to a carnival inside the National Stadium. Organisers will decide on a complete cancellation of all events only if the PSI level breaches the 300 mark.