New Sumatra hotspots and volcano ash not likely to affect Singapore: NEA

Channel NewsAsia 4 Feb 14;

SINGAPORE: 108 hotspots with a few isolated plumes were visible over northern and central Sumatra on Monday

Giving this update on Tuesday, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said the fires were due to dry weather conditions over the region.

It said isolated hotspots were also detected in Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo, but no smoke plumes or haze were observed there.

The NEA said with the prevailing winds blowing from the northeast, Singapore is not likely to be affected by the smoke from the fires in central Sumatra.

The agency will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates where necessary.

In a separate update, the NEA said that volcanic ash from Indonesia's Mount Sinabung, which continues to erupt intermittently, is unlikely to affect Singapore.

An eruption on 4 February resulted in an ash plume of 3.6km.

Based on dispersion model simulations by the Meteorological Service Singapore as well as Australia's Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, the volcanic ash is expected to move southeast, and be confined to the northern half of Sumatra for the next 48 hours.

The NEA added that three other volcanoes are currently classified at Level III by the Indonesian Centre for Volcanology and Geologic Hazard Mitigation, indicating that there could be an eruption, or that an eruption has occurred with little threat.

As these volcanoes are at a much greater distance from Singapore than Mount Sinabung, the NEA said there is no immediate concern.