SIBU: The air quality here plunged to an unhealthy level with an Air Pollutant Index (API) reading of 181 as at 6pm yesterday, giving the town the third highest API reading in the state.
The API reading here first breached the 100-mark at 11pm Sunday, hitting 118 from an initial 97 an hour earlier.
By 8am yesterday, the API reading had risen to 161.
The haze shrouded most parts of the town – filling the air with the smell of smoke – and reduced visibility along the Rajang river, with the opposite bank barely visible.
An API reading of 0 to 50 is considered healthy, 51-100 (moderate), 101-200 (unhealthy), 201-300 (very unhealthy), and 301 and above (hazardous).
Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) Sibu assistant controller Hatta Morshidi told The Borneo Post when contacted yesterday that there were no interruptions to the express boat schedule.
“The (express boat) operation is running as usual,” he said.
The Fire and Rescue Department here, meanwhile, responded to 11 bushfire cases on Sunday – six by Sibu Central Fire Station and five by Sungai Merah Fire Station.