Haze drifting in from Sumatra

UNHEALTHY AIR: A woman wears face mask due to hazy atmosphere in Kuala Lumpur. — Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR: A Department of Environment (DOE) statement attributed the bad air quality in the Klang Valley and Perak yesterday to the haze coming in from across the border from Sumatra, Indonesia.

The haze is expected to last for several days due to the forecast of a continued dry spell being experienced in several northern and west coast states at the moment.

It said the satellite image by the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre showed an increasing number of hotspots in Sumatra, Indonesia since Tuesday. The image also showed the haze drifting from Riau, Central Sumatera heading towards the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

The Air Pollutant Index (API) in several areas in the Klang Valley worsened further with an additional area recording an unhealthy API yesterday evening, compared to three previously.

The DOE index release as at 5 pm yesterday showed that the API in Cheras had deteriorated to 105, compared to a reading of 91 earlier.

The API in Port Klang and Shah Alam went up to 147 and 120 respectively, compared to 130 and 106 yesterday morning whereas Kuala Selangor showed a slight improvement at 129 in contrast to 131.

The three areas with unhealthy API are Kuala Selangor (129), Port Klang (147) and Shah Alam (120).

The DOE has activated its Prevention of Open Burning Plan in all states and heightened the implementation of the standard operating procedure for the Prevention of Peat Fires which are easily inflammable, to prevent and control any local contribution towards the deteriorating air quality.

The public have been advised to refrain from open burning and to cooperate by putting out small fires and report any open burning to the Fire and Rescue Department @ 999 or DOE’s toll free line 1-800-88-2727. — Bernama

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