Singapore Hailstorm Probably Caused By WildfiresBy: Amanda Crum - June 25, 2013
Singapore has experienced a rare hailstorm today, and it’s thought to be the product of freezing rain mixed with tiny dust particles coming from the wildfire smoke that’s spread from Indonesia.
No damage was reported from the hail, and it reportedly melted as soon as it hit the ground. However, it could be just one more symptom that Singapore has to deal with concerning the wildfires, which created a haze thick enough to jack up the pollutant index to 155 last week, the highest it had been since 2006. Singapore officials pleaded with Indonesia to get control of the fires, which caused a bit of a back-and-forth between their ministries.
“The slash-and-burn technique being used is the cheapest land-clearing method and it is not only used by local farmers, but also employees of palm oil investors including Singaporean and Malaysian companies,” Indonesian Ministry official Hadi Daryanto said. “We hope the governments of Malaysia and Singapore will tell their investors to adopt proper measures so we can solve this problem together.”
Singapore’s ministry says that Indonesia has been allowed to do as they please in an effort to keep the cash flow coming in to their commercial interests with no regard to the environment.
Though the pollutant levels in Singapore were high last week, authorities say they have no reason to believe the hail that fell today was toxic.