Hazy conditions continue

James Kon & Hakim Hayat

Hazy conditions continued to persist in Brunei Darussalam with the air quality of three districts recording a moderate level.

The latest Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) readings as of 4pm yesterday showed that the Brunei-Muara District has a moderate air quality with a PSI reading of 60 while the Belait District also recorded a moderate air quality with a PSI reading of 83, according to the website of the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation under the Ministry of Development.

The air quality for the Tutong District was also moderate at 74 while Temburong District had a 50 PSI reading.

A PSI reading below 50 indicates good air quality while 50-100 is moderate.

The Ministry of Health stated that PSI readings 50-100 could result in minor health issues such as coughing, eye irritation and runny noses while children with asthma, lung and heart diseases are advised to reduce outdoor physical activities.

Meanwhile, the ministry also advised the public to refrain from open burning and other activities that might worsen the haze conditions.

The Darussalam hotline can be contacted at 123 or the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation at 2241262 ext 4405 during office hours for complaints on open burning and questions on the air quality.

The public can report any incidences of bush and forest fires to the Fire and Rescue Department at 995.

The public can also obtain the PSI readings online at www.env.gov.bn, along with health information and advice at www.moh.gov.bn. To obtain weather information and forecasts, visit the Brunei Darussalam Meteorological Department’s website at www.met.gov.bn.

Meanwhile, according to the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre’s (ASMC) haze situation update yesterday morning, dry weather persisted over many parts of the southern ASEAN region, including central and southern Sumatra and many parts of Kalimantan.

In Sumatra, moderate to dense smoke haze continued to emanate from persistent hotspots detected in the provinces of Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, and Lampung.

Some of the smoke haze from the hotspots has been blown by the prevailing winds to affect southern parts of neighbouring Peninsular Malaysia and also Singapore where unhealthy levels of haze was recorded in the city-state, the first time in three years.