Singapore unlikely to be affected by transboundary haze: NEA

Haze seen in Bishan on April 21, 2017. The NEA said haze from Indonesia is unlikely to affect Singapore.
Haze seen in Bishan on April 21, 2017. The NEA said haze from Indonesia is unlikely to affect Singapore.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - People in Singapore can breathe easy for the time being, as the haze from Indonesia has a low likelihood of affecting the country, said the National Environment Agency (NEA).

In response to queries from The Straits Times, NEA said on Tuesday (Aug 1): "For this week, the prevailing winds over Sumatra are expected to continue to blow from the south-east or south. The likelihood of transboundary haze affecting Singapore is thus expected to be low."

The number of satellite-detected hot spots across Indonesia also fell slightly to 214 on Monday (July 31), according to Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency.

There were 239 hot spots the day before, caused by forest fires which were located mostly in the western regions of Aceh and Kalimantan.

To combat the spread of haze and prevent a repeat of the 2015 regional haze crisis, more than 21 billion litres of water have been dropped by aerial firefighters over fires in Riau since January, covering more than 549ha of land.

NEA said there have been occasional instances of increased hot-spot activities in Sumatra and western Kalimantan since the start of the traditional dry season in June.

"Based on the NOAA19 satellite, the highest increase was in the last few days of July, when up to 29 and 33 hot spots were detected respectively in Sumatra and Kalimantan," it said.

On Tuesday (Aug 1), the Meteorological Service Singapore said in a statement that prevailing South-west monsoon conditions are expected to persist in the first two weeks of August, with higher rainfall and low-level winds forecast to blow from the south-east or south-west.

However, while showers are expected on most days, "a few warm days with daily maximum temperatures reaching as high as 34 deg C can still be expected", it added.