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Haze envelops Singapore

Haze in Singapore and south Malaysia! They blame it on the burning of trees in Sumatra, Indonesia where farmers are preparing for the crop planting season. The Singapore government describes it as a “transboundary haze situation arising from the land and forest fires in Sumatra.”

Hundreds of Malaysian schools were ordered closed because of the haze. Health authorities are reporting a spike in respiratory illnesses. Below is the October 21 update and advisory from Singapore

The smoke haze situation has worsened since yesterday

The latest satellite pass today detected 6 hotspots in southern Sumatra. Hazy conditions are expected to persist as the prevailing winds will continue to bring smoke haze from Sumatra to Singapore.

In view of the current haze situation, persons who feel unwell are advised to consult their doctors. Those with existing heart or respiratory ailments are also advised to reduce physical exertion and outdoor activities.

Since it is a regional problem in Southeast Asia, the ASEAN Haze Online was established to monitor the situation. A Facebook page, Haze-Free Singapore, was created encouraging netizens to post pictures and reports.

Haze in Singapore. Photo from the Facebook page of Haze-Free Singapore

Singapore-Lighthouse wonders about the funding given by the Singapore government to assist Indonesia in helping prevent the spread of forest fires

As I was typing this blog, I was coughing like hell and was in a bad shape.

So how much money was given to Indonesia to keep their forest or really how much ended up in the pocket of the Indonesian officials? Can we really buy clean air with money?

Via The Online Citizen, Georgia Tong doubts the effectiveness of ministerial meetings to stop the haze

Every year for many years already, we have the haze. All these Asean ministers have been meeting up and talking for years…the outcome is still the same.

Inspite of the health hazard and economic impact due to the haze, there has been little or no improvement to the situation.

Asean countries are just too ‘polite’ and lack the will power to resolve the issue.

Limsimi.com reports the impact of the haze in Malaysia

You could almost SMELL it.

Besides the reduced visibility which greets you as you step out of your air-conditioned office, you could almost detect the burnt smell in the air you breathe. The fires in Sumatra, caused by irresponsible clearing of private plots, had not subsided and the Pollution Standards Index (PSI) is on the rise. You worry about your children getting asthma attacks and the exacerbation of cough on your grandparents.

Noel Boyd describes the haze situation in Singapore

Seriously what's up with the haze? I was in Orchard Road yesterday for most part of the day and the haze was really bad! Singapore just looked so gloomy and it sure smelt like Singapore was on fire. And at night, we could hardly see the moon!

If you aren't from Singapore, I would like to assure you that this country isn't on fire. The haze is from the forest fires in the Riau Province of Sumatra, Indonesia. That's 894 kilometers away from Singapore!

Twitter reactions from Singapore

XavierInsanity: As a typical singaporean, I'm gonna say I'm so amazed by the haze!! It's so hazy!!
casterteoh: I'm swaying not ‘cos I drank but that I'm tired. And this haze is blurring me so much I almost couldn't recognise ze way home. It's just me
iStraven: Haze is making me headache, soar throat and tired.
josh_oh: Just hate the haze!!! My eyes just feel uncomfortable!!!
haifaaj: wat shall i wear on the first day of school?…. maybe a mask becoz of the haze
icecreamfortea: I like how the haze makes the view outside look different.

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