No sources of transboundary haze to explain smoky smell: NEA

No sources of transboundary haze to explain smoky smell: NEA

Haze
The view from a flat in Tampines at about 8am on Feb 8, 2019. (Photo: CNA reader)

SINGAPORE: Residents in the eastern part of Singapore reported a smoky smell in the air on Friday morning (Feb 8) between 6am and 10am, with some people speculating on social media whether haze blowing in from other countries was the cause. 

In a statement, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said that it had received feedback regarding the smell.

"Our investigations thus far have not detected any local sources of burning or factory upsets that could have contributed to the smell," said NEA. 

"No sources of transboundary haze were detected in the region."

The hourly PM2.5 readings from 4am to 5am were recorded at 70 to 73µg/m3, which was in Band II (Elevated). This dropped to Band I (Normal) from 6am to 7am, with readings ranging from 19 to 26µg/m3. From 8am to 11am, the 1-hr PM2.5 readings were in Band II (Elevated), ranging from 46 to 62µg/m3.

During this time, the hourly PM2.5 readings for the rest of Singapore were in Band I (Normal).

At 5pm, the 24-hr PSI was 65, in the Moderate range. The 1-hr PM2.5 readings in the east since 11am have ranged from 8 to 18µg/m3, in Band I (Normal). 

"We are closely monitoring the air quality, and will provide updates of any further findings or significant change to the air quality situation," said NEA.

A CNA reader who wanted to be identified only as Mr Soh noticed the smell when he left his flat in Tampines at about 6.30am.

"I woke up at 6 and immediately smelled smoke in the air. I thought it was someone burning incense but after I left home I realised there was a hazy look to the morning mist," he said.

“I could smell the haze from my kitchen at 6.30am in the morning, it smelled like something was burning," said another Tampines resident, Muhammad Nur Hidayat.

"Half an hour later, it looked a little hazier when I left the house to send my daughter to childcare, before heading to work.”

Source: CNA/ic

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