Singapore air quality hits ‘unhealthy’ level

SINGAPORE (Bernama) – Air quality in Singapore hit the ‘Unhealthy’ level again yesterday, just hours ahead of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix 2019 final race which kicks off last night.

In a 2pm update, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said the 24-hour Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) readings ranged between 101 and 116, with the highest recorded in the southern part of the republic.

Divided into five zones, the PSI readings first entered the ‘Unhealthy’ range (101-200) across the republic on Sept 18, before settling mostly in the ‘Moderate’ range for the past few days.

On September 21, NEA forecasted the prevailing winds were to blow from the east or southeast, and Singapore may experience increased haziness as the prevailing winds could blow smoke haze from the surrounding region to Singapore.

“The 24-hr PSI is forecast to be between the ‘Moderate’ range and the low end of ‘Unhealthy’ range, and depending on the wind conditions, may enter the mid-section of the ‘Unhealthy’ range if denser haze from the surrounding region is blown in,” it said.

The NEA added that for the next few days, the weather in the region was expected to remain generally dry.

The agency said hotspot activities and hazy conditions were expected to persist over central and southern Sumatra and in Kalimantan.

“The prevailing winds in the region are forecast to blow from the east, and this may bring an improvement to the hazy conditions in Singapore,” it said.

It noted that it was monitoring the situation closely and would provide further updates.

A tourist takes pictures in front of the central business district shrouded in haze in Singapore. PHOTO: AP