Singapore on June 17 urged Indonesia to take “urgent measures” to tackle forest fires occurred on its Sumatra island that caused a thick haze of smoke hung in the air in the densely populated Singapore.

Singapore's skyscrapers, including the famous Marina Bay Sands casino towers, were surrounded by a haze of smoke and the smell of burnt wood.

It was the worst haze Singapore had dealt with since 2006 as the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources reported that the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reached 152 on June 17, much surpassing the officially designated unhealthy threshold of 100.

Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) said it has alerted its Indonesian counterpart on the situation and asked the Indonesian authorities to look into urgent measures to control and mitigate the transboundary haze occurrence.

However, the Indonesian forestry ministry said firefighters were already extinguishing the blazes and water-dropping aircraft would only be deployed if there was a request from local governments.

Meanwhile, parts of neighbouring Malaysia were also suffering from the smoky haze, a recurring problem the Southeast Asian governments have failed to solve despite repeated calls for action.-VNA