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Rains clear smoke from Singapore air

Heavy afternoon rains on Wednesday washed away smoky pollution plaguing Singapore and the city's air quality moved into the good range.

At 6 p.m. Singapore time the Pollutants Standard Index was at 33, its lowest level in weeks. A level of 50 or below is considered good.Smog from forest fires in Indonesia has blanketed large tracts of Southeast Asia for weeks, and the PSI in Singapore has frequently hit the "unhealthy" range - 101 or higher.

The sick and elderly have been warned to stay indoors and the general population to cut back on vigorous outdoor exercise when the air quality has been poor.

Singapore Environment Minister Yeo Cheow Tong told parliament on Tuesday the smog should gradually disappear.

"While it is possible the 24-hour PSI may exceed the 200-mark on some days, the likelihood of the PSI entering the hazardous range of 301 to 400 or even persisting above 200 is low, based on air quality trends and other information that we have so far," Yeo said.