Haze remains at unhealthy levels in some areas, efforts continue to clear the air

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 (NNN-BERNAMA) — While the haze situation in the country is improving in some parts with improvement shown in the Air Pollutant Index (API) readings, several areas are still recording unhealthy air.

As at 7 pm today, the Malaysian Air Pollutant Index Management System (APIMS) recorded 19 areas with unhealthy API readings, with Batu Muda in Kuala Lumpur having the highest reading of 161.

Another area in Kuala Lumpur, Cheras, recorded an API of 150 while four areas in Sarawak were still with unhealthy air, namely Sri Aman (104); Kuching (156); Samarahan (136); and Sarikei (109).

Graphics courtesy of BERNAMA

Six areas in Selangor recorded API of more than 101, namely Johan Setia, Klang (157), Petaling Jaya (144), Shah Alam (131), Banting (114), Klang (118) and Kuala Selangor (106) , while in Negeri Sembilan, they were Nilai (139) and Seremban (128).

Putrajaya, as well as Segamat and Tangkak in Johor, recorded API readings of 137, 130 and 102, respectively.

Temerloh and Jerantut in Pahang also recorded unhealthy air quality, at API readings of 102 and 112, respectively.

Meanwhile, fire had been put out in some 80 per cent of the 81-hectare plantations and forest area which caught fire in Sri Aman, Sarawak, as of yesterday.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defense Force and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, in collaboration with various agencies, were working hard to put out the fire in the remaining 32 hectare area since last Sept 19.

Cloud seeding carried out in Sri Aman, Sarawak, yesterday, managed to reduce the API readings in the area to unhealthy level of 125 at 10 pm today, from the hazardous level of more than 400 yesterday.

According to the Department of Environment, firemen are also working hard to put out the fire affecting the forest area in Kampung STC Sri Aman, Jalan Tisak Betong and Jalan Ketaja, which is causing serious haze in the area.

An API between zero and 50 indicates good air quality; 51 and 100, moderate; 101 and 200, unhealthy; 201 and 300, very unhealthy and 301 and above, hazardous.