Haze shrouds more places in M'sia

Petaling Jaya (The Star/ANN) - Haze continues to shroud Malaysia with more areas recording moderate air quality readings.

However, there were no areas with an unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API) as at 5:00pm yesterday.

The air quality for Port Klang and Kuala Selangor, which recorded an unhealthy API of 101 and 102 at 11:00am yesterday, improved to 94 and 98 respectively by 5:00pm, according to the Department of Environment's website.

A good API reading is from 0-50, moderate 51-100, unhealthy 101-200, very unhealthy 201-299 and hazardous from 300 and above.

As at 5:00pm yesterday, 42 areas or 82 per cent recorded moderate air quality readings compared to 37 the previous day.

Among the areas with high moderate readings were Seri Manjung, Perak, with an API of 86, Cheras (81), Petaling Jaya (78), Kuala Terengganu (75) and Kuching (70). Some areas recorded an improvement of readings throughout the day while others showed a slight increase.

The Meteorological Department noted that most parts of the country recorded normal (above 10km) or near normal visibility levels by 7:00pm yesterday except for Alor Star (6km), Batu Embun, Kedah (8km), Bayan Lepas (8km). Butterworth (7km), Langkawi (7km) and Prai (7km).

According to the latest regional hazemap, scattered and isolated hotspots continue to be detected in Borneo and Sumatra respectively. But no significant smoke plumes were visible from satellite images.

The transboundary haze is an annual affair during this southwest monsoon season which brings about drier weather.

Meanwhile, the DOE in a statement yesterday stated that it received 10 complaints of open burning on Tuesday which had been investigated and the necessary action taken.

Of the complaints, four were minor agriculture fires, two were bush fires while the remaining involved the burning of garbage, it said.

Complaints on open burning can be forwarded to the Fire and Rescue Department at 999 or DOE at 1800-88-2727.

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