Monday, July 09, 2007

Same time of year again - Haze is back


PETALING JAYA: The number of hotspots in Sumatra has almost doubled within 24 hours, signalling the onset of the forest-burning season in Indonesia which inevitably shrouds Malaysia in a haze.

According to Meteorological Services Department environmental studies director Lim Sze Fook, satellite images showed 171 hotspots in Sumatra as at 2.58pm yesterday compared to 91 at 3.05pm on Saturday.

(The Star)

Great !! This blog has been inactive for over 6 months and I almost could not remember the password to enter it. I really meant it as a joke in my closing statement last year that this blog will be revived again when the haze comes back. I never really expected it to REALLY be back.

Singapore escape haze

Singapore may be spared from the peak of the haze that is currently shrouding Sumatra and northern Malaysia because favourable weather conditions are expected for the rest of the year, said the National Environment Agency (NEA).

NEA is forecasting a slightly wetter-than-usual weather from now till September.

The El Nino situation, which brought with it drier days last year, is not expected to kick in this time round.

More from Yahoo News

Lucky Singaporeans!!

Thanks Indonesia for the timely 'present'. Just in time for our 50th Merdeka celebration :(

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Haze Clears Up

See the picture above?

Nothing special but you can actually see the blue sky for the first time in weeks!

PALEMBANG, Indonesia - Airports closed by low visibility have reopened in Indonesia and the air is cleaner over Singapore and Kuala Lumpur after rain doused forest fires spreading haze across the region, officials said on Friday.

More from Planet Ark

But the article went on to say..

It was not immediately clear however if the improvement was temporary or whether the haze could return after a few days.

I hope it will be permanent!!

Then I can discontinue this blog. (And reactivate it again next year when the haze comes back..)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Haze getting worse

From Yahoo News (17/10/2006):

The air quality in Malaysia has worsened and visibility at airports nationwide remained poor due to smog from forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia, officials said.

The number of areas in west peninsula posting unhealthy pollution levels rose to nine from seven on Monday, the environment department said Tuesday.
Looks like things are going to get worse before it gets better. How depressing :(

Haze in Petaling Street last week. However it should look 'hazier' today I suppose.

Air Purifier - a solution?

There seems like nothing is done by the Government except for "diplomatic" talks of persuasions which to a typical Malaysian like me seems painfully slow and ineffective.

In the meantime, I was wondering if air purifiers placed in my home would be of any use.

Did a search on lelong to find the cost of air purifiers between RM65-RM2000.

Here are it's features:
  • Filter Indicator ( to alert user to change HEPA Filter)
  • 3 speed mode ( High, Medium & Low speed can be set )
  • User friendly ( easy to change filter )
  • Timer ( to control usage of the system )
  • Light & portable ( 4.6 kg )
  • Dimension ( 410 x 430 x 215 mm )
  • HEPA filter - High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter (was originally used to to prevent the spread of airborne radioactive contaminants especially after a nuclear catastrophy)
  • Carbon filter - To trap bad odors, fumes and smoke.
  • Ionizer Pin - To Discharge Negative Ions for Fresher air
My question is whether the cost of the air purifier (in the above case: RM690) is worth it. How do I know if it will be effective against the current haze? That amount of money is equivalent to about year's Adsense profit which I've saved up. I'd gladly spent that if I have 100% confirmation it will clean up the air in my house.

It would be nice to breathe "normally" in my own home ..

Orang Utan and Fireflies distressed by haze

Not only is the Malaysian human populace is up in arms over the haze, the Orang Utans too are not happy. Apparently according to a Reuters story orang utans in Borneo are very distressed with the prolonged haze conditions.

"We can hear them scream late at night,"
Saut Manalu, a senior official at the Tanjung Puting national park where 6,000 orangutans live .

He added ...
"fires had been found inside the reserve that occupies a large swathe of land in Central Kalimantan province on Indonesia's side of Borneo island."

The thick haze also threathening the existence of Malaysian fireflies.

"We have noticed a drop in the firefly population,"
Laurence Kirton, a biologist with the Forestry Research Institute of Malaysia, who has been closely monitoring the insects for the last five months, told Reuters

Full story here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Indonesia Asks Malaysia to be Fair

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla asked Malaysia on Sunday to be "fair" in responding to the issue of smoke haze from Indonesian forest fires that has been choking neighboring countries.

"The oxygen produced by the forests of Kalimantan and Sumatra has benefited Malaysia," Kalla said in a speech before a congress of Hindu followers. "If they want the benefit, sometimes, when something bad happens, they shouldn't feel bothered."

~Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla
(read more from Kyodo news)

Does that mean we 'owe' Indonesia oxygen that they 'produced' for use over the years?

So let me get this straight .. You poison our air with noxious and poisonous smog which is drifting to our air space. All this can be 'contra'ed as we have reaped the benefits of breathing clean air for the months before the haze occured ? Call it even??

Not by a long shot!!

It's the most childish thing I've heard since this haze problem started. I have no doubt this statement alone will provoke angry retorts from Malaysia. Not a very diplomatic thing to say in my humble opinion.

Picture taken from LRT Pasar Seni (17/10/2006) on what is usually a sunny afternoon at 1pm.