Air pollution in Singapore has risen to unhealthy levels due to forest fires in the neighbouring Indonesian island of Sumatra over the past few days.

According to the Singapore ’s National Environment Agency (NEA), the pollutant standards index (PSI) reached a high of 111 at 7:00 am on September 15 before easing to 80 a few hours later.

A reading between 101 and 200 is considered “unhealthy”, with people with existing heart or respiratory ailments advised to reduce physical exertion and outdoor activity.

Last month, Singapore passed a bill that allows the Government to fine companies causing or contributing to the annual smog up to 2 million SGD (1.6 million USD), regardless of whether they have offices in the country.

Singapore and Malaysia are smothered annually in various degrees by smog from forest fires in Indonesia during the summer months from June to September.

Last year’s smog was the worst since 1997-1998 when the smoke caused an economic loss of 9 billion USD in Southeast Asia .

The situation forced people in Singapore and Malaysia to wear face masks and stay indoor, and prompted Indonesian President Susilo Bambang to offer an apology to the two neighbouring countries.-VNA