Singapore alerts Indonesia on haze problem; asks for urgent action

SINGAPORE - The National Environment Agency (NEA) has alerted the Indonesian Ministry of Environment on the haze situation in Singapore.

In their message to the Indonesian authorities, NEA said that they have also urged the country to look into urgent measures to mitigate the trans-boundary haze occurrence.

Since this morning, conditions have been visibly hazy and a strong burning smell has been detected across many parts of Singapore.

NEA said that drier weather conditions in the region have led to an escalation in hot-spot activities mainly over central Sumatra.

The number of hot-spots detected over Sumatra has risen from 101 hot-spots on June 15 to 138 hot-spots on June 16 .

NEA explained that the smoke from the fires in Sumatra was brought over by prevailing winds blowing from the southwest or west, and has affected Singapore since June 13.

The 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reading as of 4pm today was in the range of 68 to 83, which is in the "moderate" range. The three-hour PSI reading soared to 117 at 7pm, past the "unhealthy" threshold of 101 and above.

NEA said that the hazy conditions are expected to persist for the next few days, as occasional extended periods of drier weather in the region is probable in the coming months.

Given the current hazy conditions, NEA advised children, the elderly and those with heart or lung diseases to reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor activities.

NEA will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide further updates when necessary.

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