Hazy days are here again as Singapore smoke pollution hits unhealthy high

Air pollution in Singapore rose to “very unhealthy” levels on Friday as acrid smoke drifted over the island from fires on Indonesia’s Sumatra island. In what is becoming an annual crisis, the three-hour Pollution Standards Index posted by the National Environment Agency rose as high as 215 in the afternoon. The NEA said it planned a “daily haze advisory” as “a burning smell and slight haze were experienced over many areas” in Singapore. If it gets any worse, schools, airports and other public buildings may have to close.

It’s going to be a torturous period again

Singapore Facebook user Vivien Tan Hui Ying

Indonesia repeatedly vows to stop the fires but each year they return. This year, Indonesia has arrested 454 people in connection with the smoke pollution but Greenpeace said, according to its satellite information, there were 138 fires still blazing on Friday. In Singapore residents complained of an acrid smell and visibility was down to zero in parts of the city. Campaigner Yuyun Indradi said" “Now is the time for the government to answer this challenge. It is in the law.”

The smell of smoke woke me up. I thought something was burning outside. I’m having a cough and it’s getting worse. Luckily, I found a face mask at home

Singaporean copywriter Lim Jia Ying