Press Esc to close
Tuesday 02 September 2014
News updated at 2:32 AM IST
Weather
Max: 27°C
Min : 20°C
In Bangalore
Generally cloudy

Air pollution reaches dangerous levels in Singapore

Bangkok, June 21, 2013, (IANS/EFE) :
A tour group wearing face masks walk past the Merlion at Marina Bay in Singapore June 21, 2013. Haze from fires in Indonesia blanketing Singapore could persist for weeks or longer, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Thursday, as the smoke drove air quality to 'hazardous' levels and disrupted business and travel in the region. REUTERS/

Air pollution in Singapore Thursday reached levels dangerous for human health due to smoke from fires set in nearby Indonesia to clear land for crop planting.

The pollution index in the city-state reached a maximum of 371 points, 71 points above the level considered "dangerous", and there has been an increase in the number of patients suffering from respiratory problems in local hospitals, media reported.

Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, asked his countrymen to remain indoors and to try to go outside as little as possible after the worst air pollution since 1997 was reported, at which time the pollution index topped out at 266.

At an index level of 200 and above, the air is considered to be "very unhealthy", according to the scale used to measure pollution.


A murky haze is presently floating between Singapore's skyscrapers and its bay, but the first clouds of smoke began to arrive last week from fires on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, given that this is the season when farmers begin clearing land so that they may plant their crops.

"The workers must wear protective masks if they perform work outdoors and if they show symptoms of feeling bad, they have the right to leave work and rest in an enclosed space," said Singapore's National Congress of Unions in a statement.

The pollution has also affected visibility in the Straits of Malacca, where boats have had to limit their operations at night, and even in Malaysia, where 211 schools were closed in the southern part of the country due to a pollution level of 383 points.

Indonesia has blamed the fires on foreign investors who own plantations in Sumatra and urged Singaporeans not to react like "children, with so much excitement" to the smoke.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
President Pranab Mukherjee grants degree to a student at the 14th convocation of the University...

President Pranab Mukherjee grants degree to a student at the 14th convocation of the University...

Fireworks on the occasion of 410th installation anniversary of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the holy...

Fireworks on the occasion of 410th installation anniversary of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the holy...

Left Front activists take part in a rally to observe anti-imperialist day in Kolkata on...

Left Front activists take part in a rally to observe anti-imperialist day in Kolkata on...

Flood water flows through Srisailam dam after its four crest gates were opened in Kurnool on...

Flood water flows through Srisailam dam after its four crest gates were opened in Kurnool on...

BJP president Amit Shah during a visit to Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram on...

BJP president Amit Shah during a visit to Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram on...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio...

Actress & BJP MP from Chandigarh Kirron Kher speaks during a seminar on...

Actress & BJP MP from Chandigarh Kirron Kher speaks during a seminar on...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a toast during a banquet...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a toast during a banquet...

Congress president Sonia Gandhi prays in a temple during a visit to her constituency Rae Bareli...

Congress president Sonia Gandhi prays in a temple during a visit to her constituency Rae Bareli...

Congress president Sonia Gandhi in a village hut during a visit to her constituency Rae Bareli on...

Congress president Sonia Gandhi in a village hut during a visit to her constituency Rae Bareli on...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523