KUCHING: The mobile continuous air quality monitoring (MCAQM) station has finally arrived in Serian yesterday from SK Kuala Baram, Miri, as a temporary measure to provide accurate data on air quality in the division.
Located at Serian district police station, the MCAQM station reportedly requires 24 hours to assess the air quality data in the area before the first reading can be taken.
The station recorded its first air pollutant index (API) reading of 74 at 10am.
A reading of zero to 50 is good air quality, 51 to 100 is moderate, 101 to 200 is unhealthy, 201 to 300 is very unhealthy, and 301 and above is hazardous.
Concerns were raised recently whereby surrounding communities were complaining about the lack of accuracy in air quality monitoring in the division as Serian has to depend on API readings from Samarahan air quality monitoring station.
Readings from Samarahan’s station were disputed for not accurately representing the air quality in Serian since the division is located close to the Indonesia border, where transboundary haze is affecting visibility levels there.
Bukit Semuja assemblyman John Illus said this had resulted in schools facing a dilemma on whether they should keep their schools open in view of the seemingly worsening haze there for the past weeks.
However, Sarawak Disaster Management Committee Secretariat assured in a statement that the Samarahan air quality monitoring station readings are accurate as it can measure API readings of transboundary haze up to 50km radius.
“Areas under its coverage are Tebedu, Gedong, Simunjan, Serian, Padawan, Asajaya, Sadong Jaya, Samarahan and Beratok,” said the secretariat head Major Ismail Mahedin.