Monday, October 21

Air quality improves in Sarawak, Miri API below ‘hazardous’ level

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Bomba personnel putting out the fires affecting numerous areas in Kuala Baram.

KUCHING: The air quality in Sarawak has improved this morning with Miri finally recording Air Pollutant Index (API) readings below hazardous levels in some six days.

The reading at the Department of Environment’s API monitoring station at the Miri Industrial Training Institute (ILP) as at 11am was 227, a marked improvement from 1am last night when it hit 405.

An API reading of between zero to 50 is good, 51 to 100 is moderate, 101 to 200 is unhealthy, 201 to 300 is very unhealthy, while above 300 is hazardous.

The station breached the hazardous levels last Saturday as peat soil and bush fires rage in nearby Kuala Baram.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) is deploying a Bombardier CL-415 aircraft to combat the peat soil fire today.

The aircraft is able to scoop and drop a total of 6,000 litres of water on a single run and is able to refill its load in about 12 seconds in a body of water, which includes the open sea, rivers or lakes.

The only other API station to record poor air quality as at 10am today is Sri Aman at 211, from a high of 269 at 11pm over the last 24 hours.

As many as four API monitoring stations had recorded poor air quality readings this week, including Sibu about two days ago.

The Sarawak State Disaster Management Secretariat said in a haze update this morning that there now no hotspots recorded in Sarawak.

However, five were recorded in Kalimantan and 51 in Sumatera.

It also said visibility in Miri was at 6km and Sri Aman at 7am. Normal visibility is 10km and above.