Burning smell due to fire at landfill in Johor: NEA

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has pinpointed the source of a burning smell in eastern Singapore to a fire at a Johor landfill.

The spokesman said it had contacted Johor's Department of Environment, which confirmed yesterday morning that there was a fire at a landfill in Bandar Tenggara in south-eastern Johor.

"The fire has been burning since Feb 5, 2019, and the Malaysian authorities have been working around the clock to stop the burning," he added.

NEA confirmed that it has received feedback about a smoky smell in the eastern part of Singapore since 10pm on Friday.

The winds over Singapore have been blowing from the north-east over the past few days and are forecast to persist for the next few days, said the spokesman.

Some Singaporeans were still experiencing a burning smell yesterday morning, according to posts on social media.

The smell was also noticeable on Friday night, affecting people between 10pm and 3am.

WORKING TO PUT OUT FIRE

The fire has been burning since Feb 5, 2019, and the Malaysian authorities have been working around the clock to stop the burning.

A NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT AGENCY SPOKESMAN, on the fire at a landfill in Bandar Tenggara, south-eastern Johor.

Facebook user Chandrakanth Kamath noticed the smell at around 11.30pm in Simei that night, while a resident in Tampines said that she smelled it at 11pm.

People on social media said the haze was hurting their eyes and some complained of difficulties with breathing.

Residents in Paya Lebar also experienced the burning smell at 3am.

According to the NEA website, the PSI on Friday night peaked at 68 from 12am to 3am for the east, which is in the moderate range. The reading was 60 at 10am yesterday.

On Friday morning, a strong burning smell was reported over several parts of eastern Singapore, including Tampines, Bedok and Pasir Ris.

That same afternoon, NEA said: "We are closely monitoring the air quality and will provide updates of any further findings or significant change to the air quality situation."

Goh Yan Han

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 10, 2019, with the headline 'Burning smell due to fire at landfill in Johor: NEA'. Subscribe