Hazy conditions due to sharp increase in Sumatra hotspots: NEA

SINGAPORE - The three-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) has risen steadily to hit 127 as of 9pm today.

A PSI reading of 101 and above puts air quality here in the 'unhealthy' range.

The haziness is due to smoke haze being blown in from Sumatra by prevailing southerly winds, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said.

"Drier weather in South Sumatra in the past two days has led to a sharp increase in the number of hotspots there. A total of 205 hotspots were detected in Sumatra yesterday," NEA said on its website.

The current hazy conditions are expected to persist for the rest of today. For tomorrow, the prevailing winds are expected to blow from the south or southwest. Hence, hazy conditions can still be expected.

The 24-hr PSI for Singapore is expected to be in the high-end of the 'moderate' range but may enter the low-end of the 'unhealthy' range, NEA said.

NEA added that 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.

Given the air quality forecast for the next 24 hours, people in good physical condition are advised to reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities.

Those who do not feel well should seek medical attention. This is especially so for the elderly, pregnant women, children and those with chronic lung or heart diseases. 

NEA said that it will continue to monitor the weather and haze situation in the region, and update the public when necessary.

For updates, visit NEA's website at www.nea.gov.sg, the haze microsite at www.haze.gov.sg, or follow NEA on their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/NEASingapore) or Twitter (@NEAsg).

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