Singaporeans in some parts of the country experienced haze over the weekend blowing in from fires across the Mekong region and neighboring countries.

Air quality dipped into “unhealthy” territory by government measure on Saturday evening in Singapore’s north. The pollution likely came from fires burning in Myanmar, Vietnam, and Cambodia, followed by some scattered across Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, according to a map by the National Environment Agency, or NEA.

Over the weekend, pollution rose to above 100 on the agency’s index. Fifty-one to 100 is considered moderate air quality. As of Monday afternoon, it was 63 in the north and 69 inland. The agency said it expects conditions to improve this week as showers are forecast for the Mekong region.

#SGHaze is back, and that can only mean one thing – haze induced atmospheric photos (with the help of telephoto lenses) are now possible!” Singaporean photographer David Teo said on Facebook, where he shared photos of smog blanketing buildings including housing blocks at Lakeview Estate. 

#SGHaze is back, and that can only mean one thing – haze induced atmospheric photos (with the help of telephoto lenses)…

Posted by David Teo Boon Hwee on Saturday, 27 February 2021

The NEA map showed moderate to unhealthy levels of air pollution throughout the border-straddling Mekong area through East Asia and Southeast Asia.

“Widespread hotspots were detected over most parts of the Mekong sub-region except for Vietnam where scattered hotspots were detected. The hotspot and haze situation over the sub-region may improve slightly from mid-week,” NEA said in a Sunday update

The agency also detected moderate to dense pollution in central and northern Thailand, reaching a “very unhealthy” 201 to 300 in the east, according to the index.

Singapore, along with parts of Peninsular Malaysia, central and northern parts of Sumatra and West Kalimantan in Indonesia, will also not be expecting showers anytime soon.

Singapore’s expected to experience very warm weather today with temperatures ranging from 24C to 34C, with the UV index forecasted at “very high.”

NEA’s map shows haze hotspots in Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Photo: NEA
NEA’s map shows haze hotspots in Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Photo: NEA

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