Singapore — WE REFER to Mr M Lukshumayeh’s letter “Install early warning system on haze” (Oct 25).
We would like to assure readers that the Meteorological Services Division (MSD) of the National Environment Agency (NEA) has an early warning system on haze in place at both national and regional levels.
At the national level, MSD relies on satellite reception systems to receive and process data from various environmental and meteorological satellites to detect hotspots (fires), smoke plumes and haze in the region. In addition, MSD uses numerical weather prediction models to predict weather conditions in the region and provide regular updates on the weather and smoke haze situation to the National Haze Task Force to alert agencies of any occurrence of transboundary haze that may affect Singapore.
At the regional level, we leverage on the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) to monitor land and forest fires and the occurrence of transboundary haze affecting the Asean region. Additionally, data from the satellites that detect hotspots, smoke plumes and haze in the region are provided daily to Asean countries.
These satellite images and other related information are available at ASMC’s website at www.weather.gov.sg/wip/web/ASMC. We also share high resolution satellite images from the Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing, National University of Singapore, with Indonesia when we detect any hotspots.
At the recent Asean ministerial-level meetings on haze held in Brunei Darussalam, ASMC had impressed upon Asean countries that in spite of the wetter-than-normal dry season, vigilance should be maintained for any escalation of hotspot activities between October and mid-November.
On Oct 17 and 18, ASMC detected an increase in the number of hotspots with smoke plumes in the Riau province. In view of the deteriorating hotspots situation at Riau, ASMC had issued an alert of transboundary haze to the Asean countries.