Singapore Haze Worsens, Forces Schools To Close
The Singapore haze continues to worsen with officials urging citizens to stay indoors as unprecedented air pollution sweeps throughout the city.
Three days ago we reported that the Singapore haze was changing the way of life for citizens throughout the populated area; that way of life has been increasingly affected in recent days as forest fires in neighboring Indonesia continue to worsen the cities air pollution woes.
The haze has gotten so bad that it has strained diplomatic ties in the region as officials in Singapore are blaming Jakarta for not doing enough to halt or at least contain fires on Sumatra island.
Singapore haze problems has caused the city’s Pollutant Standards Index to record a reading of 371. Based on that number, conditions are considered “hazardous.” That classification means simply going outside can cause respiratory ailments.
To put the Singapore haze problem into perspective, the former pollutant record set in 1997 was only 226.
While the hazardous reading of 371 led to a hazardous warning, that level was only reached for three hours. Still after falling to 253, officialls still called conditions in the city “very unhealthy.”
On his Facebook page, Singapore’s Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan wrote:
“This is now the worst haze that Singapore has ever faced. No country or corporation has the right to pollute the air at the expense of Singaporeans’ health and wellbeing.”
A haze still remains around the city, which has forced school officials to close down the city’s educational system until safer conditions are observed.
Football events were also cancelled throughout the city, and sailing competitions were also halted as the haze made its way offshore.
Officials say the Singapore haze will last for at least several more days before it will be safe to travel outdoors. When the haze will lessen depends greatly on Jakarta’s ability to fight forest fires on Sumatra island.