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And So It Goes On



This is what the sun looked like outside my window this morning, through the haze :


The haze is still dominating the news ... lots of articles every day, radio DJ keeps giving a PSI update every 20 minutes, & there are colourful new graphics as well. Guess our Director-General is having sleepless nights - D said he came over to the operations office at least 10 times the other day, no surprise what with the Perm Sec, Minister & people from MEWR all bugging him. :rolleyes:



Oct 15, 2006

Air quality back to unhealthy level

By Nur Dianah Suhaimi & Tracy Sua

THICK haze shrouded the island for the second Saturday running yesterday, leaving many residents frustrated at yet another spoiled weekend.

Yesterday morning the haze hovered around the moderate range, but from midday onwards conditions steadily deteriorated as southeasterly winds drove smoke from Kalimantan over Singapore, sending the PSI level soaring to a high of 116 at 10pm. A reading above 100 is considered unhealthy.

And with the wind direction not forecast to change for at least the next 24 hours, weathermen said the haze is likely to stay in the unhealthy range for much of today as well.

The smoky air affected several outdoor events yesterday evening. At Tampines East Community Club last night, a joint Mid-Autumn, Deepavali and Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration had to be cut short because of the worsening conditions. In Kaki Bukit, a Chinese opera performance was moved indoors to the community centre.

For some Singaporeans, it could mean another weekend cooped up at home. IT consultant Nora Juradi said: 'The haze was so bad last weekend that I didn't even leave my house to buy food for breaking fast. I called for home delivery.' The 30-year-old said she would consider having another meal delivered to her doorstep today.

An outing to Geylang Serai last night was ruined for Mr Richard Lim and his family. They started making their way home after just half an hour there because the bad air quality was starting to affect them. 'The haze is giving me a running nose,' said Mr Lim, 42, a sales manager.

Engineer Henry Neo, 31, was upset that the haze wrecked his weekend plans. 'I was supposed to go house hunting tomorrow but it looks like I have to put it off. The haze problem has been around for many years and to us it is a helpless situation. I think only international pressure will help to solve this problem,' he added.

Despite the bad air quality, people were eating and drinking outdoors in Orchard Road. The Hari Raya bazaar in Geylang Serai was teeming with shoppers. Secretary Madam Linda Ramly, 29, who was spotted outside the Orchard Road MRT station with her nine-month-old son in a pram, said: 'Life has to go on. It is not something that we can do anything about unless you choose not to go outdoors.'

Five clinics around the island told The Sunday Times they had not seen any increase in patients with haze-related ailments so far.

At government level, fresh attempts to tackle the root causes of the problem are under way. Yesterday, the Minister for Environment and Water Resources, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, said a special ministerial steering committee would be finalised at the Asean environment ministers meeting in Cebu next month to push for a solution to the problem.

'Having this steering committee will help us impress upon the various affected countries and our partners to do a bit more. We have put in place a lot of programmes...but Indonesia has also admitted that the measures so far have been inadequate.'


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