Haze over Singapore

This is one of the things I don’t like about my host country: every year in autumn, Singapore is plagued by haze, generated by the ashes from fires in Indonesia. These are not accidental fires, but rather set on purpose by farmers to convert jungle into farmland. Although all countries have been in urgent talks over the past few weeks over this issue, there doesn’t seem to be much that can be done about it. The farmers in Indonesia rely on this method to secure the land they need for their survival. For more on the subject, see this article by Channel NewsAsia.

The Singapore National Environment Agency (NEA) has set up a website with hourly updates on the haze level in the city, including a schematic map of the current situation. A Pollutants Standard Index (PSI) of above 100 is considered unhealthy, and the agency recommend to “reduce vigorous outdoor activity”. In addition, “appropriate public advisories regarding the use of respiratory masks and other health matters will be given”. Over the past two weeks, the index has been above 100 several times.

Scary stuff.

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