Air quality worsens with 3-hour PSI hitting 84

SINGAPORE — Air quality in Singapore worsened today (March 11) with the three-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reaching 84 as at 8pm.

The 24-hr PSI was between 31 and 56, while PM2.5 was between 18 and 42 μg/m3, according to the National Environment Agency (NEA). Air quality is in the moderate band when the PSI is between 51 and 100.

“We expect the situation to improve during the night, but high moderate haze is expected to persist for the next few days as northeasterly winds blow smoke from increasing hot spots in Malaysia,” said Minister for Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan in a Facebook post.

“We will try to contact the Malaysian authorities, and offer assistance if needed,” he said.

The number of hotspots detected in Peninsular Malaysia today increased to 149 from 86 yesterday. In Sumatra, a total of 259 hotspots were detected today, compared to 228 yesterday.

“Smoke plumes and haze were visible from some of these hotspots,” said the NEA.

Over the next 24 hours, the 24-hour PSI and the 24-hour PM2.5 are expected to be in the higher end of the moderate band. “However, we expect the haziness to gradually improve over tomorrow night,” said the NEA.

For the next few days, the weather is expected to be fair and warm. Hazy conditions can also be expected if the hotspots in Johor persist.

At the current PSI and PM2.5 levels, most people can continue with normal activities, said the NEA.

It advised those who are not feeling well, especially the elderly, pregnant women and children, and those with chronic heart or lung conditions, to seek medical attention.

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