Thursday, October 21, 2010

Singapore Haze become more serious and unhealthy status

Hello, everyone! I stay in Singapore about 10 years. I am hear about the haze usually effect economy and health problems, disrupted flight schedules on the Southeast Asia.

Singpore is a clean and beautiful city with blue sky and white clouds. Now, our world is totally changed, haze hover our whole sky and we can feel haze intrude to our lung.

The haze is a recurrence of similar episodes in 1997 and 1998, when forest fires and haze traced to Sumatra and Kalimantan islands in Indonesia caused losses of US$9.3 billion and reached neighboring Malaysia, Singapore and southern Thailand.

We have seen these impact of the haze on the Singapore and Malaysia, but why we can't prevent recurrence of the haze on the Singapore and Malaysia? We can losses of much mony for the haze, but why we can't using these losses of money to prevent the haze in every years?

Forest and plantation fires have ignited in Indonesia since the dry season began last month, affecting some parts of neighboring Singapore and Malaysia and disrupting land and sea traffic and flight schedules, news reports said Thursday. The Jakarta Post reported smoke from forest and plantation fires has begun to darken the skies over some parts of Sumatra's Riau Province and in Kalimantan. A heavy haze is also reportedly shrouding parts of Singapore and Malaysia and disrupting marine traffic in the Straits of Malacca. Do you know in 1997 there are costing some US$9b in losses. I don't why the government not use these money to prevent the haze.

The haze will continue to haunt Singapore and its neighbours over the next few years if the development of more land in Kalimantan, Riau and possibly parts of Malaysia remains unchecked.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Singapore haze hit unhealthy range

Haze in Singapore hits unhealthy range
Singapore skyline shrouded in haze.

Indonesia's forest clearing fires in Sumatra Island are sending haze across the Malacca Strait to Singapore and Malaysia, causing the worst air pollution since 2006. The haze enveloping Singapore has hit the unhealthy range.

Singapore National Environment Agency (NEA) says the 3-hour PSI reading at 4pm was 101, after crossing over the 100-mark at 3pm.

NEA says that when the air quality is in the unhealthy range, those with underlying conditions such as chronic heart or lung ailments may experience a mild aggravation of their symptoms.

It advises those with underlying conditions to reduce physical exertion and outdoor activities.

But since the haze started clouding the skies on 16 October, the number of people visiting the polyclinics for upper respiratory tract infections has not risen.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Haze in Singapore at 19 Oct, 2010

Sumatra fires smoke brought the haze in Singapore by the southwesterly winds which has PSI reading of 78.

Indonesia appeared to bat away offers from other Southeast Asian countries to help stop haze pollution on Wednesday, leaving the region facing worsening skies as a result of a brewing El Nino weather pattern.

Worried about the potential impact, environment ministers of the region met on Wednesday in Singapore to discuss ways to mitigate the haze, which cost over $9 billion in damage to the region's tourism, transport and farming during an El Nino weather pattern in 1997/98.

"Recognizing the haze situation will be drier than normal, the ministers now agree that: 'Let us prepare for the worst, do what we can,'" Singapore Environment Minister Yaacob Ibrahim told a news conference after the one-day meeting in the city-state.

Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and Thailand offered help to Jakarta to combat outbreaks of fire, but gave no details of concrete funding or measures such as providing fire-fighters.

Asked at a news conference if other Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) members had offered Indonesia help in fighting the fires to reduce haze, Indonesian State Minister for Environment Rachmat Witoelar did not respond.

But Singapore's Yaacob said there had been such a discussion about haze. "Indonesia has expressed gratitude for that and we will wait for Indonesia as and when to mobilize," he said.

Ministers and senior officials from the five countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand and Indonesia) agreed to ban all open burning and to suspend permits for burning in fire-prone areas, but the region's track record in combating fires that lead to international pollution has been weak.

Regional grouping ASEAN has a policy of non-interference in its members' domestic affairs and is seen by some as a talking shop.

Forest fires are a regular occurrence during the dry season in Indonesian regions such as Sumatra and Borneo, but the haze situation has been aggravated in recent decades as farmers, paper and palm oil plantation firms start fires to clear land.

The result is smog-like haze in cities such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Thailand's Hat Yai, reducing visibility and increasing health problems. The ministers said Indonesia had made progress in the past three years to reduce fires.

Indonesian environmental groups said the government of President-elect Yudhoyono should put forest protection at the top of its agenda, ahead of a international meeting in Copenhagen in December to agree action against climate change.

"Every day more precious forest and peatland is being destroyed, burned and cleared by climate and forest criminals ... leading to an exponential increase in greenhouse gas emissions that is causing climate change," Greenpeace said in a statement.

(Reporting by Nopporn Wong-Anan; Editing by Neil Chatterjee and Jeremy Laurence)


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