So That’s What Haze Looks Like…

June 20, 2013

I was forewarned that Singapore’s haze levels has hit record high.

But what is a ‘haze’?

Below, the East Coast beach area. Normally visible at this altitude.

According to an online source, haze is an atmospheric phenomenon where dust, smoke and small particles obscure the  sky. Lowering visibility is definitely a safety concern but an even bigger problem is the threat the haze here (literally smoke from a burning forest!) poses to humans on the ground.

Yesterday, was the worst levels ever I was told–so bad that recently extended work breaks and even stoppages are being mulled by the government. Not sure if that would make any difference considering the air you breath inside your home is the same air you breath outside. It’s a no-brainer that the best solution is for the Indonesians to extinguish the fire–question is if they can control the raging forest fire themselves!

When the plane started to descend earlier, I saw how thick smoke has engulfed the landscape. Normally, when the plane is about to land you’ll get a nice glimpse of the amazing terra and sea beneath–today, you could hardly see a thing.

The strange part is that you could actually smell a bit of the smoke sip into the plane! Even in the terminal, you could see the faint traces of smoke hover above. Outside, you could smell burning wood–you could feel it in your eyes, too.

Most Filipinos who grew up in and around Manila are used to poor air quality. So I don’t really feel that bad being here but I could only imagine how local Singaporean feels since they’ve never been under such poor air conditions. While this is not new (there had been ‘haze’ issues here before) I heard that this is the worst case the nation has ever encountered. As of this writing, the level was on the ‘hazardous’ level.

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