Singapore:Hazereaches worst level in Singapore this year
24 September 2002
Hazeresulting from forest fires in Indonesia has reached the worst level inSingapore this year with a rise in asthmaattacks,meteorologists said on Tuesday.
ThePollutants and Standard Index (PSI), which measures air quality o a scale ofzero to 500, hit 61.
Thisis still well within the moderate range, meteorologists said, adding the PSI isnot expected to rise to the unhealthy range of more than 100 as it did for 12days in 1997.
TheNational Environment Agency has forecast slight to moderate haze here for thenext two weeks because the prevailing south and southeasterly winds are likely to carry smokefrom the fires in Indonesia towards Singapore.
Thefires in Kalimantan were still burning fiercely, sending smoke plumes manykilometres high, Chia Aik Song, a scientist at the Centre for Remote ImagingSensing and Processing, told The Straits Times.
ThePSI keeps track of five air pollutants ‑ particulate matter, sulphurdioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide.
AsthmaAssociation president Lee Bee Wah noted there has been a rise in asthma attacks.”Myimpression is that there are more patients coming in with symptoms likecoughing, wheezing and phlegm,” she was quoted as saying. Anestimated 140,000 people suffer from asthma in Singapore.