Last Updated: Friday, June 21, 2013

Singapore haze 2013: Worst in history



A large-scale air quality disaster has hit Singapore and Malaysia. In Singapore, haze at 12 p.m. on 21 June 2013 reached 401 making a record of worst in its history.

Singapore haze 2013 is caused by continued uncontrolled burning from plantation cultivation in Indonesia.

The photo below by AFP shows city skyline shrouded by haze in Singapore (June 20, 2013) and same view on a clear day (April 13, 2012).

Singapore_haze_2013-photo
 
In Singapore, the Ministry of Education has announced closure of all school activities in the month of June. According to the Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, a task force comprising 23 agencies is made to deal with the situation and draw up contingency plans.
The McDonald's fast-food chain has also temporarily stopped delivering food in Singapore.

State of emergency has been declared in Malaysia after the air pollutant index (API) reached 16-years-high.

Malaysian authorities have closed all 221 schools in Muar and Ledang for two days due to health hazards. Similarly the Department of Environment has also issued a ban against open burning activities in Selangor, Malacca and Johor until further notice.

Last record in Singapore was of 226 (very unhealthy) during the 1997 haze. The total costs of the Southeast Asian haze in 1997 was US$9 billion.

Original post: Natural Disasters List June 21, 2013
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