19 April 2010

Singapore's Version Of Eyjafjallajokull

Sorry that I was MIA (missing in action) last week. No, I was not stranded in Europe because of the volcanic eruption in Iceland. (On a related note, I hope that Vivian Balakrishnan and George Yeo could catch a flight home soon. I am sure that there a lot of things waiting for the 2 ministers to do.) The reason is that I was busy submitting my income tax returns. Not that I had a lot of income to declare that it had to take me off blogging. It is just that I have a tendency to keep procrastinating unpleasant tasks. Declaring one's income is not exactly an enjoyable task. Even much less so is paying taxes. But like they say, death and taxes are the only two certain things in life - one is "do, do, must die" while the other, "die, die, must do".

So I was at Telok Blangah Hill last Saturday to destress after filing my income tax returns and to breathe in some fresh air. Or so I thought...

Suddenly I saw a huge plume of black smoke in the distance. For a moment there, I thought that ashes had blown over from Eyjafjallajokull. (By the way, what kind of name is that? I won't even try pronouncing it, even though they told me it sounds like EY-ya-fyat-lah-YOH-kuht. I just thank my lucky stars that I didn't have to spell this Icelandic volcano in our Geography lessons some 40 years ago. Phew!)

I was wondering, where did all the pollution come from and who was the culprit? As for all things for which I don't know the answers, I did some research search on the Internet. I found out that the flame is called a "flare" and it came from a newly commissioned ethylene cracker at the Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex. According to the website, it is a "safe and routine part of commissioning a new unit, such as a cracker". It went on to say that "the flares are likely to be seen from the last few days of February to early March".

But hey, it is now nearly late April. So like what the New Paper asked of the volcanic eruption, "When will it be over?"

Further Reading:

1. http://wildshores.blogspot.com/2010/02/flaring-up-at-pulau-bukom.html

2. http://singaporeseen.stomp.com.sg/stomp/sgseen/what_bugs_me/346444/pulau_bukom_flaring_continueseven_into_the_night.html


Icemoon said...

Victor, I thought govt-affiliated agencies under auto-inclusion scheme?

yg said...

victor, be thankful that you have to submit an income tax return; it means you have received a substantial income over the previous 12 months. when you are unemployed like me, they don't bother to find out anything about you. nevertheless, i thought e-filing is a simple 5-minute affair.

Thimbuktu said...

The Iceland "EY-ya-fyat-lah" language sounds more like Cantonese 1286?

fr said...

Form-filling was tedious about 3 decades ago. You might have to submit several documents, including one by your employer, to certify all your incomes.

Nowadays, a lot of information is already in their records.

By the way, in the second photo, I see the smoke like a man walking with outstretched arms.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Victor, missed you. Thought you got stuck in Europe somewhere.

Never mind income tax returns. Shows you got big income. Better than volcanic ash returns.