Air quality expected to improve on Sunday: NEA

Channel NewsAsia 27 Aug 16;

SINGAPORE: The air quality in Singapore is expected to improve on Sunday (Aug 28), the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Saturday after hazy conditions were seen in the city-state since Friday.

NEA said the haze situation continued to improve throughout Saturday as less dense haze from central Sumatra was blown into Singapore by prevailing winds.

It added that a further improvement in air quality can be expected on Sunday as prevailing winds are forecast to shift, to blow from the southwest or south overnight. Showers are also forecast in the late morning and early afternoon on Sunday, NEA said.

It also provided an update on the number of hotspots detected in Indonesia. NEA said two hotspots were picked up on Saturday due to cloud cover and a partial satellite pass - which occurs when the satellite field of view covers part of a region of interest as the satellite orbits the earth. A total of 11 hotspots were detected on Friday. Prevailing haze over central Sumatra was observed to continue spreading east across the Malacca Strait, NEA added.

Earlier on Saturday, NEA said hazy conditions were expected to persist throughout the day, despite some improvement in air quality.

The improvement in the haze situation on Saturday morning was due to a slight shift in the direction of prevailing winds overnight from westerly to west-southwesterly, the agency said.

As of 6pm, the 24-hour PSI reading was 70-126, in the Moderate to Unhealthy range, and the 1-hour PM2.5 level was 21-46 µg/m3, in Band I (Normal).

Overall, the PSI reading for the next 24 hours is forecast to be in the Moderate range, NEA said. The 1-hour PM2.5 concentration over the next 24 hours is expected to drop from Band II (Elevated) to Band I (Normal).

The health impact of haze is dependent on one’s health status, the PSI level, and the length and intensity of outdoor activity, NEA said, adding that 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, everyone can continue with normal activities. Persons who are not feeling well, especially the elderly and children, and those with chronic heart or lung conditions, should seek medical attention,” NEA said.

- CNA/dl

Air quality improves, returns to 'Moderate' range
Channel NewsAsia 28 Aug 16;

SINGAPORE: Air quality in Singapore has improved with the 24-hour PSI returning to the Moderate range at 70-100 on Sunday (Aug 28) at 9am.

The 3-hour PSI was at 70 while the 1-hour PM2.5 was in the Normal range in all regions.

The improved air quality comes after Singapore experienced haze conditions since Friday. The National Environment Agency (NEA) said, the continued improvement since yesterday is due to less dense haze from central Sumatra being blown into Singapore by prevailing winds.

Further improvement can be expected with prevailing winds forecast to shift, to blow from the southwest or south. Showers are also forecast in the late morning and early afternoon, NEA said.

Cholina Em posted pictures of the clearer skies on Sunday morning on Twitter.

Hazy skies across Singapore on Friday were accompanied by a burning smell as haze from central Sumatra was blown in by the prevailing westerly winds, according the NEA. Readings on the 24-hour Pollutants Standards Index (PSI) crept into the Unhealthy range from 4pm, and was highest in the west at 7pm at 114.

The health impact of haze is dependent on one’s health status, the PSI level, and the length and intensity of outdoor activity, NEA said, adding that 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, everyone can continue with normal activities. Persons who are not feeling well, especially the elderly and children, and those with chronic heart or lung conditions, should seek medical attention,” NEA said.

The PSI incorporates six types of pollutants - sulphur dioxide, particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometres in diameter or smaller (PM2.5), particulate matter that is 10 micrometres in diameter or smaller (PM10), ozone, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide. Of the six, PM2.5 is considered particularly hazardous as the small size of the particles enters the human lungs more easily.

- CNA/mn

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