Singapore could get slight haze in next few days; NEA starts issuing daily haze advisory

Firefighters extinguishing a fire at a peat land forest in Payung Sekaki regency in Pekanbaru, Riau province, on Aug 2, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - The Republic could experience slightly hazy conditions in the next few days, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Sunday (Aug 4) as it released its first daily haze advisory for the year.

This could happen if more hot spot activities occur in Sumatra and the winds change to blow from the south-west, it said.

For the next few days, dry conditions are forecast to persist over Sumatra, and the prevailing winds in the region are expected to continue blowing from the south-east or south.

NEA's daily advisory comes amid the detection of persistent hot spots with haze over Sumatra and Kalimantan, which have been experiencing dry weather.

A total of 16 hot spots were detected in Sumatra on Sunday, and haze from persistent hot spots continue to be observed in Riau and Jambi provinces of Sumatra.

In Singapore, conditions were sometimes windy with brief showers over a few areas on Sunday afternoon.

The prevailing winds have been blowing from the south to south-east, and the air quality has been in the moderate range. The air quality is forecast to be fair for the rest of the day, with prevailing winds blowing from the south-east or south.

The 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) range was 53 to 56, in the moderate range, at 9pm on Sunday.

For Monday, the 24-hour PSI is expected to be in the good to moderate range. The one-hour PM2.5 concentration, which measures the concentration of tiny particles less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter, is expected to be in Band 1, which is in the normal range.

The prevailing winds over Singapore are forecast to blow from the south-east or south, and it will sometimes be windy with passing showers.

NEA is monitoring the haze and will provide updates when necessary.

The health impact of the haze depends on one's health status, the PSI level and the length and intensity of outdoor activity. Reducing outdoor activities and physical exertion can help to limit the ill effects of exposure to the haze, NEA said.

"Given the air quality forecast for the next 24 hours, everyone can continue with normal activities. Persons who are not feeling well, especially the elderly and children, and those with chronic heart or lung conditions, should seek medical attention," it said.

The main air pollutant during the haze season is PM2.5, and the public should use the one-hour PM2.5 concentration reading as an indicator for immediate activities like going for a jog, the agency said.

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