Tuesday, 20 March 2007

smoke and haze also over Singapore .....

I must admit, I do miss the clear blue skies we often get in Melbourne. I know that Melbourne skies cannot compare with the big, clear outback skies of Queensland .....but now, here in Singapore, I would be very happy to see a clear blue sky like in Melbourne!!

At the moment in Singapore there is a lot of smoke and haze around and I have heard that it was much worse in October 2006.

but to show you what it is like here now, take a look at these two photos of this morning at 9.00am from our balcony.

and this photo taken last August that is on the R.E.A.C.H. website.

R.E.A.C.H. is "Regional Environmental Awareness Cameron Highlands"
and on the Asia Pacific website today:

Disaster zones declared as Thai haze reaches dangerous levels.

BANGKOK: Thailand's northern Chiang Rai province has been declared a disaster zone after haze hit the region, while the air quality in nearby tourist hotspot Chiang Mai reached dangerous levels Wednesday. Eight provinces in northern Thailand have been blanketed in smoke and dust for two weeks after forest fires and agricultural burning in northern Thailand and neighbouring Myanmar and Laos. The worst affected provinces of Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son and Lamphun recently reported hazardous levels of particles in the air, and visibility has been reduced to as little as 800 metres (half a mile).
and on other news sites....

Southeast Asian officials will meet in Brunei to work on an action plan to combat the annual, choking haze caused by Indonesia's burning forests to clear land for crops, reports the Associated Press (1 March).

The ASEAN statement said that "the meeting will also seriously discuss collective measures … to prepare for future haze episodes and other possible efforts to intensify actions on the ground". ASEAN members Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand have complained since 1997 about haze drifting from Indonesia especially on Sumatra island and in Kalimantan on Borneo island. However, Indonesia argues it lacks the money and technical expertise to prevent or control the fires in its large number of islands.

A thick haze hangs over Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia that has lasted since early August. Again this year, hundreds of small fires set by local farmers clearing their lands have set fires that burn deep into the underlying peat layer. The fires will smolder for weeks or months, spreading smoke across the region.

First devastated by the tsunami, the Indonesian island of Sumatra is now the center of the current smoke and haze pollution. While the tsunami affected the large island's northwest coast, the fires are burning in the east.

1 comment:

Leone said...

.... and today - October 20 2010 - it is much worse than the aove photos show!!

More than 200 "hot spots" have been identified (by satellite) on the island of Sumatra. The farmers set the forests on fire to get more land for plantation and live stock breeding.

Sad but true.... and Singapore is clearly on the receiving end with the thick haze all over the city. :-(