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Singapore's air turns 'hazardous' as Indonesian fires rage

Roslan Rahman / AFP - Getty Images

Office workers return from a lunch break in front of buildings blanketed by haze in Singapore on June 19, 2013. Singapore's Pollutant Standards Index again shot above the "unhealthy

Reuters:

Singapore, a major financial center, will send a delegation to Jakarta on Thursday to discuss the smog that has turned its usually clear skies grey, Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan told a news conference.

The outlines of skyscrapers were barely visible in the central core of the bustling city-state and the smell of burnt wood permeated the air.

Reuters

A resident tries to extinguish fire on the outskirt of Pekanbaru in Indonesia's Riau province June 19, 2013. Riau authorities have deployed two fire brigade teams in Bengkalis district and Dumai to control the peatland fires.

"Things will get worse before getting better," the Today newspaper quoted Balakrishnan as saying on its Twitter feed.

The Pollution Standards Index (PSI) soared to a record high of 321 at 10 p.m., up from 290 just an hour earlier and below 200 earlier in the day. The haze has also shrouded some parts of Malaysia. Continue reading

Edgar Su / Reuters

Shoppers wearing face masks walk to The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands on a hazy day in Singapore June 19, 2013.

Tim Chong / Reuters

Partygoers line up to enter a nightclub at Marina Bay Sands, as the haze shrouded skyline of Singapore is seen in the background, late June 19, 2013.

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The smoky haze from fires burning in Indonesia is spreading to Malaysia and Singapore where the pollution index is the worst in 16 years. NBCNews.com's Dara Brown reports.