Given that the haze situation is expected to improve, the National Environment Agency (NEA) will discontinue issuing the daily Haze Forecast and Health Advisory after Friday, 18 Oct 2013.
Over the past week, Sumatra has been experiencing wetter weather conditions. As we enter the Inter-Monsoon period, more rains can be expected in the coming weeks. This signals the end of the dry season in Sumatra, and the likelihood of transboundary haze affecting Singapore for the rest of the year will be low.
Air quality readings will still be made available hourly, from 7am to 11pm, on the haze microsite and NEA corporate website. Air quality readings from 12am to 6am will be made available from 7am on the same day.
NEA will continue to monitor the weather and haze situation in the region, and update the public as necessary.
Chairman of the Haze Inter-agency Taskforce and Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen said in a Straits Times article that even as the haze situation has improved, the authorities will continue to fine-tune contingency plans. The Singapore system is robust and Singaporeans are resilient, but the haze is a long term problem that we would all need to tackle, and we can look into a better early warning system and information management practices.
• Promising start for the new term whilst being haze-prepared (01 July 2013)
Senior Parliamentary Secretary (SPS) Sim Ann visited Hougang Primary School on the first day of the new school term on 1 July and was pleased to learn about the various contingency measures in place to ensure the health and safety of students in the event of haze return. Even with the improvement of air quality in the past few days, Principal Sabrina James shared that the school is keeping track of students with respiratory problems and has set up an air-conditioned holding room to ensure their comfort. There are also various avenues such as SMS and letter notifications to keep the parents abreast of these haze-plans. Schools in Singapore are well-prepared and are keeping a close watch for any changes in air quality and health advisories to make the necessary arrangements.
• Working together: What the construction industry is doing to cope with the haze (01 July 2013)
Senior Parliamentary Secretary (MOM and MOE), Mr Hawazi Daipi, commended Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL) for their efforts in ensuring workplace safety for the construction industry. Companies are urged to place workers’ safety and well-being as their top priority, and to be prepared to adjust according to the haze situation. One example is Tiong Seng Contractors (Pte) Ltd which created their own safety SOPs according to the various PSI levels.
• MOE will take appropriate precautions to ensure well-being of students (28 June 2013)
Senior Minister of State for Law and Education, Indranee Rajah shared MOE’s continuity plans for schools and childcare centres for the haze situation. Classrooms will be enclosed while allowing adequate ventilation, and schools will maximise the use of existing air-conditioned spaces when the haze reaches unhealthy levels. All schools have at least one air-conditioned room with air purifier to temporarily accommodate students who develop respiratory problems or are feeling unwell. When the haze reaches hazardous level, MOE will consider closing all primary and secondary schools. Parents are encouraged to make advance plans with their employers to minimise disruptions. Employers are urged to exercise greater workplace flexibility in enabling their employees to care for their children.
Rumour #1: Hailstones observed over the western part of Singapore between 1pm and 4.30pm on 25 Jun 2013 was caused by acid rain or cloud seeding.
Rumour #2: PSI index on NEA website was 393 at 10pm on 19 June 2013, but later changed to 321.
Rumour #3: TR Emeritus claimed that PSI readings on NEA’s website do not take into account PM2.5 but are based solely on PM10