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Singapore expresses concern over transboundary haze

SINGAPORE, Sept 18 (Bernama) -- Singapore has written to the Indonesian government, expressing deep concern over the transboundary haze from Indonesia that has affected the island republic.

The letter was written by Singapore's Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, to the Indonesian Minister of Environment, Balthasar Kambuaya.

A statement released by the National Environment Agency (NEA) said the minister also reiterated Singapore's offer of assistance to Indonesia to deal with the fires.

Singapore experienced hazy conditions caused by transboundary haze from Kalimantan, with the prevailing winds blowing from the east or southeast.

As at 6pm today, the 24-hr Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) was at 95-99, in the Moderate range.

NEA said based on NOAA satellite data, there was widespread thick smoke haze in the southern parts of Kalimantan, which was also spreading to the southern parts of the South China Sea.

It said these hazy conditions in Singapore might be sustained over the next one to two days, as Kalimantan was expected to experience mostly dry conditions, and winds continued to blow from east or southeast.

Tomorrow, the prevailing winds are expected to blow from the east or southeast.

Thundery showers are forecast in the afternoon for Singapore. Haziness may also be experienced during the day.

The overall air quality for the next 24 hours is expected to fluctuate between the high-end of the Moderate range and the low-end of the Unhealthy range.

NEA will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with its Indonesian counterparts on the transboundary haze issue.

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