Burning smell in north-east Singapore likely related to fire at landfill in Pasir Gudang: NEA

Submitted by Stomper Ah Boy, Alan, Kelvin

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Several residents living in the north-east of Singapore experienced a strong burning smell between Friday evening (Feb 15) and Saturday night (Feb 16).

Stompers Ah Boy, Alan and Kelvin alerted Stomp to the "smoky" smell.

Ah Boy shared a photo showing a hazy sky that he took while walking around Yishun on Saturday night.

He asked: "Is the haze back?"

Alan took a video from his home in Punggol of fire and smoke coming from chimneys in Malaysia.

"The smoke appeared to be heading in the direction of Sengkang," he said.

Kelvin told Stomp that he was awakened by a "foul-smelling burning smell" at about 4pm on Saturday.

"As this is not the first incident of landfill burning in Pasir Gudang, I hope the Singapore government take the Malaysian government to task in preventing recurrent of such irresponsible acts."

Previously, there were reports of a burning smell in several parts of eastern Singapore, including Tampines, Bedok and Pasir Ris, on Feb 8.

At the time, the National Environment Agency said the source of that smell was due to a fire at a landfill in Bandar Tenggara, in south-eastern Johor.

On Sunday, the NEA said the Department of Environment Johor had updated the agency that while the fire at Bandar Tenggara landfill had been put out, there was another fire at the Tanjong Langsat landfill in Pasir Gudang, reports The Straits Times.

"It is likely that the burning smell detected in the north-east of Singapore is related to this fire," said an NEA spokesman, who confirmed that the agency had not been able to trace the smell to any local causes so far.

The spokesman added that the prevailing winds, which have been blowing from the north-east, are expected to persist for the next few days.At 11pm on Saturday, the PSI at the North, East and Central regions ranged from 42 to 48, in the "good" range.

The one-hour PM2.5 readings in those regions ranged between 6 and 12 micrograms per cu m (mcg/m3), which is in the "normal" range. PM2.5 is the dominant pollutant during haze episodes.

The NEA also said that the levels of ambient volatile organic compounds remain within safety limits.

In contrast, at one point during the episode on Feb 8, the one-hour PM2.5 readings rose to the "elevated" range of 46 to 62 mcg/m3. The PSI also hit 65 at a separate time that day.

The NEA said it would continue to monitor the air quality and provide updates, should there be any change in the situation.

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