Burning smell set to be reduced with rain: NEA

NEA said that it has continued to receive feedback from the public about the burning smell in various areas of Singapore.
NEA said that it has continued to receive feedback from the public about the burning smell in various areas of Singapore.PHOTO: ST FILE

The burning smell reported across the island over the past two months may soon occur less frequently, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said yesterday.

On Feb 8, residents living in several parts of eastern Singapore, including Tampines, Bedok and Pasir Ris, reported a "strong burning smell" similar to haze. The source of the smell was later traced to a landfill fire in south-eastern Johor, which was later extinguished.

Complaints about the smell continued through mid-February and March, however, due to other fires and hot spots in the region.

NEA said yesterday that it has continued to receive feedback from the public about the burning smell in various areas of Singapore.

The agency said that hot spots with smoke plumes have been occasionally detected in southern Johor, which is experiencing dry and hot weather during the current dry phase of the north-east monsoon. The intermittent burning smell in many areas over the past weeks was the result of these smoke plumes.

However, inter-monsoon conditions are forecast to set in around early April, and an increase in showers is expected over the surrounding region. This will help reduce the occurrence of the burning smell in the next one or two weeks, said NEA. It added that since 11pm on Wednesday, the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) across Singapore has ranged from 52-67, which is in the "moderate" range, while the one-hour PM2.5 readings ranged between 1 and 53 micrograms per cu m (mcg/m3), in the "normal" range.

The agency said that given the current air quality, everyone can continue with their normal activities.

 

NEA added it is closely monitoring the situation and will provide updates on any significant changes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2019, with the headline 'Burning smell set to be reduced with rain: NEA'. Print Edition | Subscribe