Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hazy again

The haze has become a tiring story. It's become an annual event since the 1990s. The main culprit is, of course, Indonesia.

Haze cuts visibility from 10 km to 2 km in Singapore
Oct 5, 2006

The worsening smoke haze coming in from Sumatra has cut visibility from 10 km to 2 to 3 km in Singapore.

The latest satellite picture detected 228 hotspots in Sumatra, mainly in Riau, Jambi and South Sumatra. Dense smoke plumes from the hotspots were also observed.

But it forecasts that the south-southwesterly winds will strengthen tomorrow morning and the winds will again bring smoke haze from Sumatra to Singapore.

NEA will monitor the haze situation in the region closely and will issue the health advisories if the situation warrants it, it said.

But Asean must also share the blame. All the Asean initiatives since the 1990s to combat the haze have come to naught. Dad has lost track as to how many Asean agreements have been sealed. But government officials of the ten Asean governments will continue to have regular meetings to help draft another agreement.

Mommy has suggested that Asean countries penalise Indonesia in some way to help ensure that it takes enough steps to prevent another environmental disaster. How can it be done? We shall leave it to the politicians and civil servants to sort it out.

Dad simply hopes the worst haze -- which coincided with the regional financial crisis of 1997 and 1998 -- doesn't return to envelop the entire region again.