Haze to continue if Johor hotspots persist: NEA

SINGAPORE - Air conditions in Singapore deteriorated on Tuesday in the late afternoon, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said. The 24-hour PSI level was in the 34-54 range at 7pm, while PM2.5 was at 20-41 µg/m.

In a health advisory, NEA said that the haze can be attributed to hotspots in southern Johor, blown into Singapore by prevailing northeasterly winds.

The number of hotspots detected in Peninsular Malaysia today increased to 149 from 86 yesterday. In Sumatra, a total of 259 hotspots were detected today compared to 228 yesterday. Smoke plumes and haze were visible from some of these hotspots.

The haziness is expected to gradually improve overnight, NEA added. For the next few days, the weather is expected to be fair and warm but haze can be expected if the hotspots in Johor persist.

Minister for Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan said in a Facebook post on Tuesday night that the Government would contact Malaysian authorities and offer help if needed.

He said: "The haze worsened this afternoon, this time due to fires in south Johor. We expect the situation to improve during the night, but high moderate haze is expected to persist for the next few days as north easterly winds blow smoke from increasing hot spots in Malaysia.

"We will try to contact the Malaysian authorities, and offer assistance if needed," he added.

The 24-hr PSI for the next 24 hours is forecast to be in the higher end of the Moderate band (i.e 51-100). The 24-hr PM2.5 is expected to be in the same range.However, we expect the haziness to gradually improve over tomorrow night. NEA will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary.

The health impact of haze is dependent on one's health status, the PSI level, and the length and intensity of outdoor activity.

Reducing outdoor activities and physical exertion can help limit the ill effects from haze exposure. Those who are not feeling well, especially the elderly, pregnant women and children, and those with chronic heart or lung conditions, should seek medical attention.

At the current PSI and PM2.5 levels, most people can continue with normal activities.

For more haze updates from AsiaOne, click here: