Some charity, sporting events carry on as winds ease haze

People enjoying the outdoors yesterday amid clearer skies. As of 6pm, the 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) had fallen to between 81 and 98, in the high section of the moderate range. Today, the air quality is expected to be in the high end of
People enjoying the outdoors yesterday amid clearer skies. As of 6pm, the 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) had fallen to between 81 and 98, in the high section of the moderate range. Today, the air quality is expected to be in the high end of the moderate range (51-100) and low end of the unhealthy range (101-200).ST PHOTO: YEO KAI WEN

South-easterly winds keep denser haze away, offering respite on Sunday

Charity walks and sporting events were among activities to beat the haze yesterday as south-easterly winds eased the smoky conditions across Singapore.

Clearer skies were evident over many areas as the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reading dropped from a range of 144 to 178 at 1am to between 78 and 92 in the moderate range as of 8pm yesterday.

Today, the air quality is expected to be in the high end of the moderate range (51-100) and low end of the unhealthy range (101-200).

NO ONE DONNED MASKS

There were seniors and young families walking, but I didn't see anyone wearing masks as it didn't look like there was much haze.

MS JESSICA SIM, who took part in a 2.5km walk with around 1,000 Bedok residents

"It may enter the mid-section of the unhealthy range if denser haze is blown in," said a National Environment Agency spokesman.

The air quality has been improving because south-easterly winds have kept denser haze from Sumatra away. However, widespread haze still persists in parts of central and southern Sumatra, while some haze from Kalimantan has also spread to the sea areas south-east of Singapore.

The haze on Saturday made organisers cancel part of the Singapore leg of the Fina Swimming World Cup held at the Sports Hub's OCBC Aquatic Centre, an open-air facility.

But other events, such as the one organised by animal welfare group Save Our Street Dogs, went ahead as planned. It held its fundraising walk and run at East Coast Park on Saturday night, although only 500 of the expected 1,200 participants turned up.

"Even though the skies were clear, the PSI read 240, prompting many to call for a cancellation, and it was stressful having to make the final decision," said its president Siew Tuck Wah.

Around 1,000 Bedok residents went for a 2.5km walk as part of a health awareness carnival yesterday morning. Participant Jessica Sim, 33, said: "There were seniors and young families walking, but I didn't see anyone wearing masks as it didn't look like there was much haze."

However, the Health Promotion Board decided not to take any chances. It cancelled its healthy lifestyle festival at Toa Payoh HDB Hub yesterday morning based on the previous evening's forecast. "This is in consideration of the wide spectrum of the public who may attend the outdoor roadshow, including seniors and children, as well as the expected attendance of over 4,000 people at the roadshow," said its spokesman.

A total of 41 hot spots were detected in Sumatra yesterday. The low count was due to cloud cover over parts of the island.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2015, with the headline 'Some charity, sporting events carry on as winds ease haze'. Print Edition | Subscribe