Friday, June 21, 2013

Singapore calling the rain gods

Dear Internet friends,

How are you guys? I know most of my readers aren't from Singapore so you probably don't know this. Singapore is in a environmental crisis. Now. In layman terms, our air is filled with shit and we are breathing it in. Every single second.


Every year during the dry season typically from June to September, Singapore gets covered by smog, a result of our neighbour, Indonesia burning her land in preparation for the next sowing season. For decades, this has been happening. The fires are not accidental but deliberate. The fires are also "illegal" but they continue to occur year after year.

Back in 1997, we had the "worst" haze situation when the PSI hit 226. The PSI measures the air quality in the air - the more shit, the higher the number.

PSI Value Air Quality Descriptor 
0 - 50 Good
51 - 100 Moderate
101 - 200 Unhealthy
201 - 300 Very unhealthy
Above 300 Hazardous

This table above gives you an idea what the number means. So in 1997, when the haze was at its worst, the PSI was 226 which is only "very unhealthy".

On Wednesday night when the PSI hit 290 at 9pm, jumping 100 points from the previous reading, I could feel that everyone on social media felt like the world was ending. 290! That's just 10 points away from hazardous. I mean once it crossed 300, we were all gonna die for sure. Right? I mean, what the hell does hazardous mean in layman terms? Well, we all kind of found out at 11pm for the 10pm reading. (the server crashed) It was 321. For the first time in history, our air quality was above 300. The end of Singapore.

Oh well, we all went to bed and yes, we're all still alive. Bad air or not, we're still alive. Cough, cough.

The PSI has since hit other highs. Like 401 at noon today. (I was sleeping, trapped in a dream where I took the wrong bus)

So what next?
The strategy is to keep healthy, stay indoors and be positive. And not panic.
Which I kinda did today.

I went out in search of N95 face masks after reading a report that the government has 9 million of these babies in its armoury. Good lord. We never even know the government has a armoury. The newspaper report says the ministry of health will release new stock to the pharmacies. Guess what? It's out of stock at all the places I went to. I only have dust masks at the moment which are practically useless but I figure they're better than nothing. I'm positive new stock will come in soon (because the government doesn't lie) so I shan't panic.

You know, living here it's easy to forget how tiny Singapore is. All it takes is a number of fires to cripple us. We are at the mercy of the Indonesian government. If they do nothing about the fires, there's nothing much we can do. Just wait it out. Wish the people in charge will stop pussy footing around!


Whenever there is diplomatic tension, dumb words are bound to be said. These came from Agung Laksono, the minister who is coordinating Indonesia's response to the haze crisis.

"Singapore should not be behaving like a child and making all this noise."

"Unless (Singapore) wants to give us a large amount, we won't consider accepting it. If it is only half a million, or one million dollars, we don't need that. We would rather use our own national budget."

I hope he's referring to one million rupiah and not one million Sing dollars!

With this kind of attitude, only rain can help us.

So my dear friends. Do you have any super rain summoning powers? Pray for rain for Singapore. Not the wimpy kind. We need like 3-4 days of heavy downpour, at least!


Mo Smith said...

I read about your smog situation on our national news website - it sounds horrendous. I thought of you straight away. Problem with rain is, we never get it when we want it and when we don't want it, it pours...! Hope you find the masks soon x

OneLittleThread said...

One good thing though, humidity today was only 3% , I blow dried my hair and it did not frizz! I just got together with a group of friends ...and we sewed

Projects By Jane said...

@Mo Smith
you're so right. and you know, it rains in Singapore all the time, throughout the year. except this week when we so need it.

Linda said...

How sad to have to suffer the consequences of another country's inconsideration! You prompted me to check on the air quality here. It is 79 today. It's that high because of all the oil company trucks and activity going on in the midst of us. It is not normally like this! (My husband had to replace the windshield on his car TWO times in a week a few weeks ago because big oil trucks passing him knocked "shrapnel" at him! Then after the second time, it happened again. I also have two "dings" in the windshield of MY car! We do suffer the consequences of others.
I hope you get your rain!!! Breathing is pretty important, after all!

Bethany said...

We've been getting tons of rain here--I'll wish some of it your way :)

Fiona Markham said...

Oh Jane - the appalling situation in Singapore has been highlighted on our news here in Ireland and having read your blog it's even worse than I realised. My thoughts are with you - wishing I could send you some of the torrential rain we have been having here. Fiona

Anonymous said...

Jane, not so much rain lah. Otherwise NEA will be worrying about flooding and poor Vivian will have to remain in the hot seat.

Chau Lee

Projects By Jane said...

@Chau Lee
Yes, poor Vivian. If it's not mosquitoes, it's the air and the flooding. Whether it's man-made or nature, he gets the worst. Guess he drew the short end of the stick.

Little Blue Mouse said...

It sounds really awful, I hope you get your much needed rain.

Kris said...

Well, at least we saw clearer skies here at CCK yesterday afternoon! Let's hope the haze won't be back so soon :X

punkychewster said...

Apparently my sister and her whole church congregation prayed and so today's (Saturday) was a little bit better (read : PSI 80).. keep praying loh!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

My Bag Pattern Shop

My Applique Patterns

My Embroidery Patterns