Singapore smog crisis: Minister to travel to Jakarta for emergency talks on haze

Stay indoors where possible and avoid heavy outdoor activities, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says.

Singapore and Indonesia will hold a meeting on Thursday over the unprecedented levels of thick smog in the city-state as a result of forest fires on Sumatra Island.

Andrew Tan, the chief executive of Singapore's National Environment Agency (NEA) will attend the meeting which will be hosted by Indonesia's foreign ministry in Jakarta.

"We need urgent and definitive action by Indonesia to tackle the problem at source," Singapore's minister for the environment and water resources Vivian Balakrishnan told AFP. "Singaporeans have lost patience, and are understandably angry, distressed and concerned," he added.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he will also meet "relevant ministers" on Thursday and hold a press conference on the crisis.

On his Facebook page, Lee Hsien Loong advised the citizens: "Please stay indoors where possible and avoid heavy outdoor activities. Look out for one another - we will get through this together."

On Thursday, till mid-morning, Singapore's air pollutant index was pointing at an "unhealthy band" with a reading of 153 after spiking past the 300 level, which is marked as the "hazardous" level by the government.

Smog was still visible as the Singaporeans went out to work and people were seen wearing proper disposable medical masks than before in order to take precautions.

The acrid odour of burnt wood was so strong that it could be smelled even inside the air-conditioned trains of Singapore's metro system.