In 1997, the haze took SE Asia and Singapore by storm. September 1997, the 3-hour PSI reading hit 226, the highest ever recorded in Singapore history. As quoted from TODAY Singapore 13 October 2006, ¡°Singapore was estimated to have suffered USD 300 million in losses. Health costs, USD 5 million; Loss in tourism, USD 210 million; Loss in visibility, USD 41 million; Loss in recreation, USD 95,000. The economic loss per household was estimated at about USD 400 while losses to each Singaporean were USD 100.¡± This was the extent of damage on Singapore. Since then, Singapore has been experiencing haze annually. In some years, it was worse; in other years, it was better. The haze did not seem too bad until 2006.
In 1999, there was also a rather serious haze episode. However, owing to the wet weather, the haze was not as bad as 1997 as the rains prevented further burnings. The Indonesia also passed a law, banning open burnings, in this similar year.
In 2002, Singapore experienced yet another severe haze. The PSI of October that year hit 79 on a Sunday night and 69 on a Monday night. However, the PSI did not rise above the 100 mark like it did in 1997, said Michelle Tan, spokeswoman for Singapore Environmental Agency. The rages on island of Borneo and Sumatra combined with the wind sent bouts of haze to Singapore, Malaysia and southern Thailand.
In 2006, smog started to cloud the September skies of Singapore. Euston Quah, head of economics at Singapore¡¯s Nanyang Technological University told the Agence France Presse and TODAY Singapore of his ¡°back-of-the-envelope, round figure¡± estimate of Singapore¡¯s economic losses due to haze in October 2006 was USD 50 million. This was also the figure that economists came up with that was reported in TODAY Singapore. These losses encompassed health costs, loss in tourism, loss in visibility and loss in recreation as well as economic losses. The severity and great impact of the haze can be seen considering these losses were accounting for only the month of October.