Saturday, October 07, 2006

Haze/Smog in South-East Asia

I remember the bad haze a couple of years ago, choking the cities of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, blamed on forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia. Since then, it has become an annual haze gathering and for the past few years, Singapore has been pretty much spared as the winds have blown most of the smog the other way. This year, since early October, the bad haze seems to be back with a vengence. Just today, the pollution index (PSI) hits a high of 130, smack in the unhealthy range. According to the Singapore media,
SINGAPORE (AP) -- Singapore's air quality deteriorated to its worst level this year on Saturday as acrid haze from brush fires in Indonesia filled the sky, the National Environment Agency said.

The Pollutants Standards Index hit 130 at 10 a.m. (0200 GMT) Saturday, the first time this year it has measured above 100, the agency said.

The agency defines an index reading of below 50 as good, a reading of 51-100 as moderate, and anything above 100 as unhealthy.

When I look at the clear blue skies and cool atmosphere in Vancouver, it feels like heaven. When I think of the haze nor in Singapore, I pray with a nod of understanding as I have breathed much of haze before a couple of years ago. One needs to have experienced something in order to be able to pray with better understanding.

The PSI reached an alarming 150 this morning when I checked. Check the PSI online.


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