Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Haze in Singapore Due to Forest Fires in Indonesia

The haze that affected Singapore from Friday to Sunday was caused by forest fires burning in Rokan Hilir in Sumatra's Riau province, Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) said yesterday. Dr Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, who heads the BNPB's data and information division, said the smoke was carried to Singapore by winds unleashed by Typhoon Lionrock in the Philippines.

Read this for haze situation update

The tropical cyclone has since left the Philippines and was moving towards Japan yesterday. Satellites detected 162 "fire alerts" in the Rokan Hilir regency between Friday and Sunday. The fire alerts accounted for almost half of all the 338 fires detected across Sumatra and Kalimantan over the same three days. The fires were exacerbated by a combination of dry conditions, sporadic rains and the illegal use of fire for land clearing.

While the hazy conditions in Singapore cleared up by yesterday, heavy haze hit most parts of Kuala Lumpur, with air pollutant readings in the Malaysian capital reaching near "unhealthy" levels, Xinhua news agency reported. The 88-storey Petronas Towers were barely visible in the thick haze, which reached even the office of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, prompting him to tweet: "The haze is back in some areas, so please take healthcare measures, especially the old and the young."

Read the full article @ Strait Times

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