Environmental News Archive

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Singapore may be spared from haze this year: NEA

By Foo Siew Shyan, Channel NewsAsia
06 July 2007

SINGAPORE: Singapore may be spared from the peak of the haze that is currently shrouding Sumatra and northern Malaysia because favourable weather conditions are expected for the rest of the year, said the National Environment Agency (NEA).

NEA is forecasting a slightly wetter-than-usual weather from now till September.

The El Nino situation, which brought with it drier days last year, is not expected to kick in this time round.

Joseph Hui, Director General, Environmental Protection, NEA, said: "This year, the forecast is that we are likely to get neutral or weak La Nina. La Nina is slightly wetter than usual, so with this forecast, the likelihood is that we will get slightly more rainfall than last year."

Singapore has been spared from the smog so far as the prevailing south to southeasterly winds have kept the smoke away.

The same wind direction is also expected over the next few days.

But in the long term, other forces may come into play.

Wong Chin Ling, Chief Meteorological Officer, NEA, said: "It's difficult to know when and where the fires will occur. Fires are essentially started through human activities."

Singapore has come up with a masterplan to help Indonesia's Jambi province to tackle the haze and reduce slash-and-burn activities, and work is underway to formalise the agreement with Indonesia.

Mr Hui said: "We are actively involved in working out this letter of intent. We are waiting for them to come back to us and hopefully finalise it soon."

A meeting of environment officials from both countries may be held as early as next week.

- CNA/so

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