I woke up at around 12 midnight with irritation to my throat and nose. Due to my sinus, I am very sensitive to climate changes and the air we breathe.

It’s now 2am and I still can’t sleep because my breathing feels irregular and dry.

My mom came into my room at around 1am,. Apparently, she’s having the same problem and is having difficulty sleeping too. At first, I thought it could be the poor ventilation in my room because of the condominium construction going on nearby. Hence I decided to take a short stroll outside to get some fresh air and then come back and sleep again.

Alas, the air outside is even worse! My breathing felt even heavier after strolling for about 10 minutes. I quickly turned back, return to my room, switched on the air-conditioner and humidifier.

That’s when I suspected it’s the bloody HAZE again! Did a quick check on the Internet, and this is what I found:

haze picture
Picture from NEA’s website

Haze is back…sooner than expected

Tania Tan in Singapore & Salim Osman in Indonesia
Straits Times 26 Feb 08;

ILL winds are blowing the haze towards Singapore again, as farmers in the Sumatran province of Riau have begun clearing undergrowth by setting it alight earlier than usual.

Singapore’s Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) readings hovered in the ‘moderate’ range last week, and hit 56 on Sunday, the year’s highest so far.

The weekend’s slightly hazy conditions are expected to last over the next few days, said the National Environment Agency (NEA).

But yesterday’s afternoon showers helped clear the air and put it back in the ‘good’ range.

At 4pm, western Singapore registered 44 on the PSI, followed by the south with 35. The central, northern and eastern parts of Singapore clocked readings of between 23 and 33.

Readings varied through the day. A check by this newspaper found Ang Mo Kio and Bukit Timah hazy at 3pm, and the Central Business District largely clear during the lunch hour.

Last week and through the weekend, however, dry weather and variable wind conditions over Indonesia worked together to send over haze particles from the fires set by the farmers, said the NEA.

But it expects stronger winds to pick up and push the smoke haze away, so better air quality can be expected ‘in the coming days’.

Rain also fell in central and southern Sumatra yesterday, which helped douse some of the fires.

Provincial officials told The Straits Times that they were confident the fires could be controlled if rain continued over the next few days.

The head of the Riau government’s environmental impact committee, Mrs Arbaini, said: ‘We have mobilised all our resources to fight the fires. We don’t want smoke from forest fires here to travel to neighbouring countries.’

Riau provincial government spokesman Surya Maulana, calling the rain ‘a godsend’, noted that the meteorological station had not predicted a wet day for the area.

The slash-and-burn clearing of forests usually starts in late March, but north-easterly winds often blow the haze away from Singapore. In September 2006, Singapore became enshrouded in a choking haze as a result of dry weather and winds that blew the smoke in this directio

Damn it! It’s Indonesia again! The PSI Index tomorrow morning surely damn jialat one. Trust me, my nose is super sensitive to the PSI index.

Sigh…

Guess I will be suffering from respiratory irritation for the next few weeks to come.

Thank you again for the Haze again Indonesia.

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