Singapore, Friday, June 21, 2013 – The Ministry of Education (MOE) has informed schools to cancel all activities for the rest of the school holidays.
A statement published on the MOE website says: “As the haze situation has worsened, MOE has informed schools on 21/6 to cancel all school activities for the rest of the June vacation. Should the 24 hour-PSI level continue in the very unhealthy range over the next few days, MOE will take guidance from the Inter-Agency Haze Task Force on the need for further action.”
The 3-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reading hit a new record of 401 today at 12 p.m. Readings above 300 are considered hazardous. The PSI hit a high of 371 yesterday, after registering a high of 321 the day before. Before this week of record-setting readings, the previous high was 226 set in 1997.
According to the Andrew Tan, the chief executive officer of the National Environment Agency (NEA), “The region has experienced several serious episodes of haze in 1994, 1997 and 2006.”
While the NASA satellite shows fewer hot spots today, the haze is expected to persist because of wind conditions, “with low level winds blowing predominantly from the southeast or southwest”, according to the NEA website. “The Southwest Monsoon season typically last from June to September and is the traditional dry season for the southern ASEAN region,” adds the NEA website.
NEA issued a press release earlier this week to advise that all outdoor sports activities should be cancelled if the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) shows a reading of above 100.
The statement said that “all outdoor sports activities organised by SSC (Singapore Sports Council) will be cancelled/postponed”.
For primary, secondary and pre-university students, the NEA statement said: “Outdoor physical activities, physical education lessons, sports and games to be cancelled”.
The Singapore government has also set up a new website called Emergency 101. It is meant as a one-stop information portal on handling emergencies.
For latest PSI readings, go to: PSI and PM2.5 Readings
For the full NEA press release, go to: Singapore Government Agencies Coordinate Effort To Mitigate Haze Impact On Public