NIGHT RACE STILL ON

Photo Singapore GP

ORGANISERS OF THE Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix said there are no plans “to amend the published racing and entertainment programme”, as the haze from forest fires in Indonesia continue to blanket the island and parts of Malaysia. In a statement yesterday, Singapore GP added that N95 masks will be available around the Marina Bay Street circuit throughout the race weekend. They will be sold at cost price to race goers.

The eighth edition of F1’s first night race is scheduled to run from Friday to Sunday and will go on based on the current PSI levels, said the statement. “The haze situation is highly changeable not only from day to day, but from hour to hour. Therefore, it is currently not possible to reliably predict what the PSI level might be over the race weekend. We will continue to work closely with all the relevant government authorities to receive the best possible forecasts when they are available.”

According to the NEA website at 2am this morning the 24-hour reading throughout the island was between 108 and 128 of the Pollution Standards Index.

Singapore has been covered by haze for the past eight days and Channel NewsAsia reported that at a technical briefing yesterday, National Environment Agency chief scientific officer for Pollution Control Development Indrani Rajaram said air quality in terms of the PSI remained in the unhealthy range from 8pm on Sept 12. The highest 1-hour PM2.5 reading since then was recorded at 8pm on Monday at 341.

Environment and Water Resources permanent secretary Choi Shing Kwok added the haze conditions in the last few days is due partly to abnormal wind patterns brought about by a tropical storm in the South China Sea.

It brought more dense haze over Sumatra into Singapore, he added, and the pattern is likely to continue until Friday or Saturday, when the typhoon goes onshore. Over the weekend, winds blowing from the east could blow the haze away from Singapore. “After that, according to our best estimates, it will go back to blowing from the southeast, and at that point of time, there will be occasional haze coming in. We expect (the haze then) to be more occasional rather than continuous as it has been for last few days.”