KUALA LUMPUR: The improvement in air quality since Wednesday night is due to the tropical storm Mujigae, which previously formed in the Philippines and brought the haze to the country, dissipating after making landfall.
Malaysian Meteorological Department director-general Datuk Che Gayah Ismail said Malaysia was now experiencing the inter-monsoon period before the onset of the North-East Monsoon in early November.
“During the inter-monsoon season, we will experience weak multi-directional winds and more humid weather particularly in the west coast states… we can expect to experience thunderstorms in the afternoon. So, at the moment, we are not experiencing new transboundary haze and rain will continue to eliminate the existing haze,” she said when contacted.
She was commenting on the haze situation in the country which continues to show improvement with most areas recording consistent moderate to good Air Pollutants Index (API) readings.
According to Che Gayah, the current weather conditions could persist until early November if there was no formation of new tropical storms that might bring back the haze to the country.
“But if this region is hit with a tropical storms again and affects wind direction, it is not impossible that the haze will hit Malaysia again,” she said.
In the meantime, Che Gayah said Malaysians needed not be worried if being hit by haze after the the monsoon season ends, as the country would enter the northeast monsoon or rainy season early November.
She said, even if there was a fire in neighboring countries, it would not affect the air quality in Malaysia as the winds would push the haze towards the sea.
Meanwhile, according to the Department of Environment , as at 3pm, 17 areas showed good API readings compared to 15 at 9am. The areas include Labuan (25), Kota Tinggi (47), Muar (49), Indera Mahkota Jerantut (48) and most areas in Sabah and Sarawak.
Thirty-four areas showed moderate API, including Shah Alam (87), Nilai (84), Pelabuhan Klang (82) serta Alor Star and Langkawi (75). An API reading of 0 to 50 indicates good air quality; 51 to 100, moderate; 101 to 200, unhealthy; 201 to 300, very unhealthy and above 300, hazardous.
The public can refer to the DOE portal at apims.doe.gov.my for the latest API reading. — Bernama