Air quality continues to worsen in Sarawak due to severe haze

14 Aug 2019 / 20:24 H.

PETALING JAYA: Air quality in several parts of the country continues to deteriorate as severe haze envelops many areas, especially Sarawak.

Miri, Kuala Baram and Sri Aman recorded the worst Air Pollutant Index (API) readings today at 239, 268 and 361, respectively.

The Department of Environment (DoE) said the haze had reached hazardous levels in Miri.

“Increased API readings at some places in Sarawak were caused by bush fires and peat bush fires that occurred nearby, and were further exacerbated due to the raging forest fire in Indonesia. The API readings may continue to rise in all areas,“ the DoE said in a statement.

Other areas such as Kuala Lumpur and Penang recorded moderate API readings of below 100. The API reading in Klang was 74, Banting 72, and Shah Alam 71.

Areas that recorded good API readings were Tanah Merah (40) in Kelantan and Tawau (34) in Sabah.

“The government is addressing the issue of open burning and dealing with the haze situation in the country,“ the DoE said.

Earlier, DoE director-general Norlin Jaafar said the department was working with other agencies to prevent and control the fires.

“I hope all stakeholders and landowners can closely monitor fire-prone areas such as landfills, forest, peat, soil areas as well as agricultural and industrial land,“ she said.

Norlin advised the people to not carry out open burning adding the DoE would take stern action against offenders under Section 29 (A) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974.

email blast