Smoke chokes Singapore

smog problem in singapore, ap
Image caption Serious air pollution hangs over Singapore

Smog continues to affect people living in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Singapore's air pollution hit its worst ever level this Friday and officials say the haze could last for several months. The main cause of the pollution is thought to be forest fires caused by the illegal clearing of land on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.


Karishma Vaswani


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Singapore says its citizens should remain indoors if they can - cautioning that the thick smog that has blanketed the island could go on until the dry season ends in Sumatra in September.

The smog has strained diplomatic ties between Singapore and Indonesia - two countries that usually share good relations. Singapore says it is up to Indonesia to stop the fires, while Indonesia says it is doing all it can and its own citizens are suffering too.

The haze is an annual problem for this part of the world, caused by smouldering forest fires in Sumatra. Strong winds carry the smoke from the fires to neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia.

This year though, the levels of air pollution are particularly hazardous. The last time this region was so badly affected was in 1997 when the South East Asian haze lasted for months, and reportedly made 20 million people ill.


Listen to the words

citizens: warga negara

smog: asap

blanketed: menyelimuti

strained: mempersulit, mempertegang

diplomatic ties: hubungan diplomatik

haze: kabut akibat polusi udara

smouldering: mengeluarkan asap

hazardous: berbahaya

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