Most sports events continue despite haze

Yogaraj Panditurai, Straits Times AsiaOne 28 Aug 16;

The friendly match between the Cerebral Palsy Football team and the Parliament team went ahead yesterday despite hazy conditions. Mr Shafiq Ariff (in blue) is seen shielding the ball from MP Chong Kee Hiong (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) as MP Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap (Aljunied GRC) watched. The match ended 6-4 to the Cerebral Palsy team.

Although the haze blanketed most parts of Singapore yesterday, with the 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) ranging from 68 to 121 (unhealthy), most sports events around the country carried on and participants enjoyed their day out with no hitches.

Yesterday's Puma Night Run at the Seletar Aerospace Park, which began at 6pm, saw the 12km and 6km Open runs go on as scheduled. All races would have been cancelled if the 24-hour PSI exceeded 200.

"It's heartening to see the great turnout and energetic participants despite the gloomy outlook," said Mr Gabriel Yap, Puma South-east Asia's marketing head.

At the Queenstown Stadium, the national cerebral palsy football team played a friendly match against the Parliament team at 3pm, with the former winning 6-4.

The National Para-Swimming Championships also continued as planned, with 116 para-athletes competing at Toa Payoh Swimming Complex.

Mrs Michele Liauw, 41, whose 10-year-old son Jeremiah took part in the meet, said of the haze: "It wasn't that bad. Not something that would kill you, and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

"Besides, I'm sure if it was that bad, the officials would know better and would have called it off. We've all seen worse haze than (yesterday) anyway."

However, the ActiveSG Football Academy called off its morning training sessions yesterday when the 24-hour PSI exceeded 100 at 7am. It measured 90 to 143, which was in the unhealthy range. The cancellation was announced in a Facebook post. The Academy will continue to monitor the air quality and will cancel training today if the 24-hour PSI level exceeds 100 at 7am.

Mr Rajan T., 55, whose six-year-old granddaughter Putri Omiraisha missed out on training at the Serangoon Stadium, said: "The children can't help but feel disappointed. But calling the training off is a good move because health is a very important concern when it comes to young kids.

"You never know what might happen and how the haze might affect a child's health. It's always better to take precautions."

Organisers of the Safra Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon, which takes place today, will also monitor the three-hour PSI closely.

If the reading is between 101 and 200, the run will continue, but adjustments will be made to reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion. Should it exceed 200, the event will be cancelled.

Given the air quality forecast, the National Environment Agency advises the public to reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion. Those who are not feeling well, especially the elderly and children, and those with chronic heart or lung conditions, should seek medical attention.

Additional reporting by Jean Iau


Air quality expected to improve on Monday: NEA
Channel NewsAsia 28 Aug 16;

SINGAPORE: Air quality in Singapore is expected to improve on Monday (Aug 29), said the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Sunday.

In an advisory issued on Sunday, NEA said the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) for the next 24 hours is forecast to be in the Moderate range.

As at 8pm, the 24-hr PSI was 69 to 93, in the Moderate range.

“Slightly hazy conditions can still be expected for the rest of today. For tomorrow, the prevailing winds are forecast to strengthen and blow from the south or southeast, and a further improvement in the air quality can be expected,” said NEA.

Thundery showers are forecast in the late morning and early afternoon on Monday.

“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 added.

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.

- CNA/jq


Air quality in Singapore 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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