Saturday, 22 June 2013

Singapore Haze

Smoke from forest fire in Indonesia has shrouded Singapore with Pollutant Standard Index(PSI) hitting all time high at 401. Anything above PSI 100 is unhealthy and 300 is just hazardous.
PSI Value Air Quality Descriptor 0 - 50 Good 51 - 100 Moderate 101 - 200 Unhealthy 201 - 300 Very unhealthy Above 300 Hazardous - See more at:
View of Singapore eye at PSI 401- Yahoo photos.
It is an yearly event for Indonesian farmers to burn their plantation just before mansoon. But this time the fire is intense because of extreme dry weather. Even Indonesian oil companies have participated in annual burning of farms by burning their palm oil plantation. This has escalated the situation in Singapore and southern Malaysia with PSI hitting hazardous levels.

Yahoo photo

In an otherwise safe Singapore we have major drama ensuing because of haze.

 - Politicians are blaming and pressurising Indonesia (rightfully) for the haze situation.

 - Indonesia in response has chided Singapore for behaving like a child. It has responded positively too, by deploying fire fighting planes as haze worsens in Singapore and Malaysia. Indonesia has also released names of 8 companies which may be involved in starting forest fires.

NASA Photo

 - Malaysia shut down schools when the PSI hit 300. This has caused anxiety and frustration among Singapore residents. Singapore PM Lee has maintained that there will be no closing down of businesses in Singapore and that life must go on. Assessing the situation there might be reduced work hours and outdoor exposure but that is as far as what we can expect.

 - Amidst all these there is panic among residents for getting respiratory masks.
People queuing up at hospitals for N95 masks. Yahoo photo
A colleague of mine had purchased masks at 20$(original price 10$) on 20th June. When some of us from office went to purchase masks from the same shop on 21st afternoon the guy had run out of masks but was ready to take advance orders at 75$ per pack!! He claimed that he has to hand carry masks from Australia!! Simple theory of Demand and Supply!!

We haven't opened doors and windows in house for the past 4 days. Its very stuffy to stay indoors. Haze visibility has improved today but the smell and pollution still persists. PSI was high even today morning at 322. This is expected to continue for another month or so but may be not at high PSI. Thank god for air conditioner at homes that life is going easy despite haze.


  1. Hmmm.., India, Indonesia, Malaysia, USA, UK..., Anywhere.., people are the same.., when there is a problem the blame game persists.., and the ultimate sufferers are Mango People (Aam Aadmi)

    1. In this case Indonesia has played a classic "shoot yourself in the foot". But yeah innocent Mango people are the ultimate sufferers.

  2. OMG! But what about the Indonesians who set the fire and live near the plantations? Wouldn't they suffocate to death?

    Hope the haze clears soon and all are healthy and safe!

    1. Yep Seena, they are suffering more than us probably.
      Forests in Indonesia are still burning. Fortunately for Singapore the wind directon has changed and we have clear skies past couple of days.