The past few days, Singapore has been under a haze. Take a look…
This is what our view looks like right now. No filters added, by the way, in case you’re thinking Instagram or retro camera settings or the like. Nope, this is straight out of camera.
This is what our view normally looks like. See? Clear. Really clear.
The haze is caused by smoke from forest fires in Sumatra, Indonesia. So much smoke has moved over from Sumatra to Singapore that PSI (Pollutions Standards Index) has reached records. As I type this, the PSI is sitting at 371. I think. Or possibly around 169-196 or 232-291. The numbers over at the NEA seem a bit contradictory or perhaps just easy for me to misunderstand or misinterpret. Although when I read this page, it seems that it was 371 at 1pm, and it’s dropped down to a marginally safer 355.
Anything over 300 is considered hazardous.
And I really need to go buy meat. Which is down the street a couple of blocks. I really really really really really don’t want to be outside in that. We haven’t opened the windows in two days (except to take that first photo). Urgh.
UPDATE: 21 June 2013 – This is today’s haze photo.
Does it look worse to you? It looks worse to me. The PSI reading at 10am is 367. But, as I read things on Twitter and the news (online, of course), I’m finally understanding things a bit better. Like that number is not a spot reading. It’s a three hour average. At 8am, it was 158, at 9am it’s 256, and now at 10am it’s 367. Which means the amount of pollution in the air at this moment in time is actually much higher than that. I’m not sure why the NEA presents only three hour averages. Even one hour averages would be better. Ah well.
I should probably add that the N95 masks, which are the ones that filter out pollutants and are the ones that are most commonly used for this sort of situation, are sold out most places in Singapore. The government says they have 9 million masks in stock and have ordered more (for a population of 6 million), and various outlets, like Fairprice, say they’ll have more in soon. The news agencies are saying that the stock at various shops will be replenished by yesterday evening. We haven’t checked – we have not gone out.
News outlets are also saying that the haze could last for weeks while at least one other says possibly months. I really hope not. Really really really hope not.