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Hazy conditions persist in Singapore due to smoke haze from Sumatra

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Air quality remains close to unhealthy levels on Saturday, with slightly hazy conditions across many parts of Singapore.

[SINGAPORE] Air quality remains close to unhealthy levels on Saturday, with slightly hazy conditions across many parts of Singapore.

While the south bore the brunt of the haze in the past few days - recording a 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reading of 99 on Friday night - the 24-hour PSI in the west has been climbing steadily on Saturday, recording the highest figure on the island at 95 at 1pm.

The reading is at the high end of the moderate range, which is between 51 to 100.

Meanwhile, the south has seen slight reprieve with its 24-hour PSI reading falling to 90 at 1pm - still the second highest across the island, according to the index on the National Environment Agency's (NEA) website.

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The 24-hour PSI figures in Singapore ranged between 83 and 95 at 1pm, a slight increase from the 84 to 92 recorded at 7am in the morning.

As current figures are still in the moderate range, and normal activities can continue.

A PSI reading of 101 to 200 is in the unhealthy range, for which the NEA advises the public to cut down on outdoor activities.

In addition to PSI levels, the NEA said that the health impact of haze is also dependent on one's health status and the length and intensity of outdoor activity. Those who are not feeling well, especially the elderly and children, and those with chronic heart or lung conditions, should seek medical attention.

On Friday evening, the NEA said that it detected hot spots in both Sumatra and Kalimantan in Indonesia, although based on the prevailing wind direction, it is smoke haze from Sumatra that has been affecting Singapore.

A total of 156 hot spots were detected in Sumatra, mainly in the central and southern parts of the Indonesian island.

The NEA predicted for the weekend to remain hazy, although there may be brief showers that could alleviate the situation.

The NEA website www.nea.gov.sg will provide regular updates on the haze situation.

THE STRAITS TIMES