Haze Reading Might Exceed 100, NEA Advises Reducing Physical Activities Outdoors

The 24-hour reading for the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) in Singapore has the possibility of exceeding 100 today, which is in the Unhealthy range.

National Environmental Agency (NEA) issued this warning on Thursday (12 Sep).

A total of 222 hotspots were found in Sumatra yesterday evening, emitting a high amount of haze.

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This, combined with winds blowing from the southwest or southern direction, will likely affect Singapore and blanket us in smoke.

Alarming number of hotspots in Indonesia

A total of 1,264 hotspots have been detected in Kalimantan – located southeast of Singapore – and the haze from that area is likely to persist.

Fires tend to occur around this time of the year in Indonesia due to agricultural operations involving clearing land for palm oil plantations.

While these fires have rarely affected Singaporeans since 2015, wind conditions this year is making us smash that Thank You button for Indonesians giving us clean air 11 months a year.

NEA advises reduced intense physicial activity outdoors

The haze can cause health problems if the reading reaches an unhealthy range.

As such, NEA warns Singaporeans to reduce or avoid prolonged outdoors physical activities for today.

Prolonged here is defined as constant exposure for several hours.

As of the time of writing, the PSI reading is 96 in the southern part of Singapore:

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For those with persistent lung or heart disease, intense outdoor activities should be avoided outright.

NEA also advises those who do not feel well during this period to see a doctor.

Moon-gazing activities may have to be conducted indoors

It may merely be a coincidence – or is it? – but today (13 Sep) is the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Festivities involve admiring the moon, lighting lanterns, and playing with candles under our HDB blocks.

And of course, the consumption of calorie-laden mooncakes. But that’s fine because once in a blue moon ma.

Sadly, the moon might be obscured tonight due to the haze. This is probably what’s going to happen to Chang’e, Goddess of the Moon, if haze conditions persists:

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We’ll have to wait and see if the weather improves, but chances are that the only moon we’ll be seeing are the mooncakes.

Also, one should check the PSI reading before heading out to celebrate festivities.

Featured image adapted from MIT News.