- The Straits Times
Still have N95 masks sitting around at home? You might want to stock up.
Singapore and Malaysia are set to be hit by yet another bout of haze due to forest fires in Indonesia, both countries’ meteorological experts said this week.
Hot and hazy in Singapore
In a statement on Thursday (August 1), the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) said that in recent days, hotspots with smoke plumes have been observed in central Sumatra and southern Kalimantan.
Depending on the direction of the prevailing winds and the location of the fires, Singapore will likely experience occasional haze during the first two weeks of August, MSS said.
In addition to the haze, Singapore is expected to have a “dry and warm” August, as the daily temperature is forecast to range between 26 degrees Celsius and 33 degrees Celsius.
On some days, daily temperatures could even exceed 34 degrees Celsius.
Several Malaysia regions already experiencing haze
In fact, a few regions in neighbouring Malaysia are already experiencing haze due to the fires in Riau, The Star reported.
Citing director-general of the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia), Jailan Simon, the report said the areas currently hit by haze include Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Negri Sembilan and Penang.
“The haze is caused by a moderate amount of smog moving from hotspots in the central and southern parts of Sumatra due to the Southwest Monsoon winds,” Simon was quoted as saying.
He added that winds are expected to blow from the southwest direction for about a week, so stable atmospheric conditions and dry weather is “expected to continue”.
“Based on wind patterns, the haze in Peninsular Malaysia is forecasted to continue as long as there are hotspots in Sumatra, ” he added.
Meanwhile the director-general of the Ministry of Health advised people in Malaysia to cut down on outdoor physical activities, Bernama reported.
On Friday, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said such activities would increase breathing and metabolism rates, and could lead to haze and hot weather-related illnesses.
He also urged people to wear face masks and caps, or use umbrellas when outdoors.