Singapore haze: 'It's like being in a bonfire'

Marina Bay Financial Centre The view from an office building in the Central Business District in Singapore before and during the haze

Pollution levels remain high in Singapore, as the smoky haze from fires in Indonesia continue to shroud the city state.

Readers in Singapore share their experiences of how they are affected by the haze and how they plan to deal with the problem.

Aarti Thapar, Keppel Bay, Singapore

Aarti Thapar

I've got two children and one of them is mildly asthmatic and I don't want to take any risks with them.

I don't suffer from any health issues myself but you do feel your chest tightening up as soon as you go out.

It smells outside and it's hard to breathe even with a face mask on.

Most pharmacies and shops have sold out of the 'N-95' masks and there are still long queues for them.

The recommended masks are like the ones you see on building sites and are uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.

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A lot of my expat friends are also planning to leave”

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Many employers here are allowing staff to work at home if they would prefer. Some employers also provide extra air filtration in offices, free taxis to and from the office and free medical assistance.

In terms of shopping, I buy most of my food and essential items from the local shops and if I have to go out with the kids, I drive rather than walk or take public transport.

There are predictions that the smog may last for weeks if not for the whole summer.

A lot of my expat friends are also planning to leave. I am actually planning to leave for Hong Kong tomorrow. I have been living out here for two years now.

Jeffrey Cronkshaw, Singapore

Jeff Cronkshaw

I have been living in Singapore for the past five years. There's always some haze this time of the year because of the forest fires in Indonesia.

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I may send my two year old daughter to Thailand if it stays like this”

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But I've never seen anything like this before. It is 400 plus on the Pollutant Standard Index. It goes up and down but generally it's very bad.

A lot of expats with families are sending their wives and kids abroad.

Personally, I haven't decided yet. But I may send my two-year old daughter to Thailand if it stays like this.

No one is going out like before to the restaurants and bars. The streets are eerily quiet and taxis are very hard to get hold of. You certainly don't see any kids about.

The haze is dominating the news here and that's what most people are talking about on twitter and other social networks.

Alex Kerr, Somerset, Singapore

I have no plans to leave at the moment. I'm a head-hunter and I've only been here for a month.

Alex Kerr

I still go out to work every day but my routines have changed.

I get the taxi now to and from work rather than use public transport.

The taxis are almost always fully booked in advance as there is limited public transport service. The fares have gone up too.

I stopped few things I used to do. I can't go outside for a run or exercise, for example.

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It's like being in the middle of a bonfire”

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At work, everyone puts on a face mask and air purifiers are always on maximum.

Night life is dead here. Restaurants and bars are closed. It has hit traders very hard as eating out is part and parcel of life here.

It gets better at certain times of the day. But, in general, it's like being in the middle of a bonfire. It's hard to breathe when walking around.

At its worst, the smog gets inside buildings and once my lounge was filled with smoke as the smog got through the windows.

Nikhil Nanivdekar, Jurong, Singapore

Nikhil Nanivdekar

I still go out to work in the business district.

Public transport and roads though are noticeably less busy and like most people going out I wear a mask wherever I go.

I'm keeping an eye also on the news to monitor the Pollutant Standards Index to get an idea how bad the smog is on a daily basis.

Other than work, I spend the rest of my time at home with the family.

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I hope the Indonesian government... takes all the steps it can to control this issue”

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My wife goes out during the day to the market and shops to buy food and other essential items. Although she also reports that supermarkets and shops are deserted.

I'm originally from India and have been living here for the past two years. This is my first time experiencing the smog in Singapore and it is worrying for me and my family.

Although the haze is difficult to live through, I'm not planning to leave or take a vacation.

I think the Singaporean government is taking all safety measures that it can. I hope the the Indonesian government responds in kind and takes all the steps it can to control this issue.

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