KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 (NNN-BERNAMA) – Hundreds of schools were closed in Malaysia’s Sarawak state, after air quality dropped, due to the ongoing haze, the state Education Department said today (Tuesday).
The closures include 347 primary and 62 secondary schools in nine districts, which serve over 150,000 students, the department said, in a statement.
Air quality in several parts of the state were rated as “unhealthy” with the Air Pollution Index (API) reading between 120 and 186 points, according to the country’s Department of Environment.
According to the country’s air quality rating, an API reading of zero to 50 is “good,” 51 to 100 “moderate,” 101 to 200 “unhealthy,” 201 to 300 “very unhealthy,” and 301 and above is “hazardous.”
The schools will be closed immediately, if the API reading in a district rises beyond 200.
Meanwhile, parts of Peninsula Malaysia recorded an API between 102 and 195, with the worst hit being Rompin district in Pahang state, while the capital Kuala Lumpur recorded an API of 158.
The Ministry of Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment, last week said, the cause of the haze was due to forest fires in the region, including in neighbouring Indonesia.
Its minister, Yeo Bee Yin offered to help Indonesia put out the raging forest fires in the country, which she said, needed to be urgently extinguished.– NNN-BERNAMA