Haze will be worse this year: NEA

SINGAPORE - If you thought the record level of haze last June was bad, be prepared for it to get even worse this year.

The warning came from Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan and the National Environment Agency (NEA) in a briefing yesterday.

They cited three factors.

First, haze hit Singapore earlier than usual this year as the region suffered a prolonged dry spell.

Second, the recent haze in the nearby Indonesian province of Riau was worse than last year.

Third, the NEA confirmed that most climate models are predicting an El Nino weather phenomenon - linked to droughts in South-east Asia - in the second half of this year. This "is usually associated with aggravated haze", said Dr Balakrishnan.

This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.