Thursday, August 13

Haze: No respite in sight as Sri Aman API reading goes over 400

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The API reading in Sri Aman is getting dangerously close to 400 – the highest reading in the country.

KUCHING: The air quality in Sri Aman has breached an air pollutant index (API) reading of 407, after steadily deteriorating since 3am today.

According to the Department of Environment’s (DoE) MyIPU app, the API breached the 300 reading at 3am before continuing to deteriorate steadily with recordings of 352 at 6am, 367 at 9am, 377 at 2pm, 386 at 3pm and 397 at 4pm.

Despite a brief respite of some showers at around 4.45pm in Kuching, the station in Kuching still recorded a very unhealthy reading of 214, rising from 4pm’s recording of 212.

Other areas that recorded very unhealthy readings were Sibu (173), Sarikei (155), Samarahan (158), Mukah (127), Bintulu (125), Miri (122) and Samalaju (103).

Moderate API readings were recorded in SK Kuala Baram (86), Kapit (84), IPL Miri (98) and Limbang (77).

The highest recorded API reading during this year’s hazy season was on Aug 22, when IPL Miri recorded a hazardous 442, the highest in the country at the time.

At the time, the API had shot up due to forest and peat soil fires in Kuala Baram.

An API reading of zero to 50 is good, 51 to 100 is moderate, 101 to 200 is unhealthy, 201 to 300 is very unhealthy and 301 and above is hazardous.

The State Disaster Management Committee (JPBN) in a report earlier at 12pm said that 17 hotspots have been detected in Sarawak.

Six hotspots were detected in Sri Aman, three in Lubok Antu, two in Belaga, two in Marudi while one was detected in Bau, Kapit, Lundu and Saratok respectively.

The report, which also quoted the DoE, said that 452 hotspots were detected in Kalimantan and another 243 in Sumatra.