SINGAPORE — The moderate haze that returned to Singapore today (Aug 20) is expected to clear in the later part of the day, Minister for Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan wrote in a Facebook post.
As of at 2pm, the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) three-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reading was 56, up from 25 at 6am, while the 24-hour PSI reading was 26-32. The 24-hour PM2.5 reading was 16-20µg/m3.
Dr Balakrishnan wrote that the haze today is due to hot spots in South Sumatra and south westerly winds and that conditions are “expected to improve with the strengthening of winds, and change in wind direction to blow from south”.
He added that the NEA will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates when there are further developments.
TODAY readers reported on the worsening air quality in many areas of Singapore this morning, while the PSI was still in the "good" range.
Reports of the haze seemed to be concentrated in the west, where reader @eugene_kee tweeted "#sghaze seen at pasir panjang. Maybe on the way?"
Reader @LividEye corroborated the report, tweeting "We are in Clementi Pasir Panjang, South West area. And yes, the #sghaze seemed to be looming in the skies right now."
In the east, reader @endorphynn wrote that the situation in the Marine Parade area was "bad. Hazy.. Definitely smell it in e air", while @sharon_pow said that the situation in Eunos and Paya Lebar was "ok".
The NEA has said that it is currently investigating, and will provide an update later this afternoon.
The three-hour PSI hit a record high of 401 at 12pm on June 21, in a third straight day of records, although two days of mostly clear skies followed over the next few days.
The three-hour PSI readings are calculated based on PM10 concentrations only.
The PSI index was developed by the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide accurate and timely information about daily levels of air pollution. Air pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and particulate matter called PM10 (particulate matter of 10 microns or smaller in size) are used in the determination of the index.
The PM2.5 reading measures fine particles measuring 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter, as well as ultrafine particles, and soot.
The Ministry of Health has set up a 24-hour hotline to help with public queries on the haze: 1800-333-9999
PSI Air quality descriptor
201-300: Very unhealthy
More about the PSI: http://tdy.sg/PSIhowandwhy