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Sunday, Oct 19, 2014

YourHealth, Singapore

Singapore air quality improves to within 'moderate' range

AsiaOne | Sunday, Oct 19, 2014

Haze picture taken outside OCBC Aquatic Centre at 1600hrs on 19 October 2014.

SINGAPORE - The haze situation in Singapore appears to have improved slightly as the three-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) dropped to within the "moderate" range of within 51 to 100.

The three-hour PSI stood at 89 at 7pm today, down from a high of 113 at 3pm today.

The index had been hovering in the upper 80s for much of the early morning before climbing to 100 and above after 11am. A reading above 100 puts air quality in the 'unhealthy' range.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a statement today that the haziness is likely due to smoke haze from Sumatra blown in by the prevailing winds.

The latest numbers of hotspots detected in Sumatra and Kalimantan was 14 and 126 respectively. NEA said that the low hotspot count for Sumatra is due to partial satellite coverage and cloud cover. Smoke haze was visible in parts of Kalimantan.

NEA added that the current haziness is expected to persist overnight. For tomorrow, the prevailing winds are forecast to be light and variable in direction. Hence, Singapore may continue to experience occasional hazy conditions.

Thundery showers are expected for Singapore in the late morning and early afternoon and the 24-hr PSI is expected to be in the high-end of the 'moderate' range and low-end of the 'unhealthy' range.

NEA noted that the health impact of the 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, healthy persons should reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion," NEA said in an Oct 19 update on its website.

"The elderly, pregnant women and children should minimise prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion, while those with chronic lung or heart disease should avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion. Persons who are not feeling well, especially the elderly and children, and those with chronic heart or lung conditions, should seek medical attention," the agency added.

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

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