PETALING JAYA: Air quality in several areas in the country continued to deteriorate today, with Sri Aman in Sarawak hitting the hazardous level on the Air Pollutant Index (API).
The Department of Environment’s air quality hourly monitoring system showed that reading for the town near Kuching has reached 367 as at 10am today.
The API readings in Sri Aman has been climbing steadily since last night, from 204 at 8pm yesterday, before first breaching the hazardous level at 3am, when the reading reached 311.
An API of above 300 indicates hazardous air quality. Readings below 50 represents good air quality, 51 to 100 (moderate), 101 to 200 (unhealthy) and 201 to 300 (very unhealthy).
Four locations have recorded very unhealthy reading, namely Johan Setia Klang in Selangor (235), Kuching, Sarawak (220), and Port Dickson and Seremban in Negri Sembilan with readings of 213 and 205 respectively.
28 other locations recorded unhealthy air quality.
Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) noted that the current haze spell does not necessitate a disaster emergency, and that this would only be called once the API reading reaches 500.
The agency’s corporate communication unit, in a statement, added that Nadma, together with the Meteorological Department and the Royal Malaysian Air Force, has coordinated cloud seeding operations for Sarawak, slated for Thursday.
“It is expected this cloud seeding operations will be conducted on or after Sept 19, subject to the weather, cloud and atmospheric condition,” it said today, adding that it would continue to closely monitor the situation in Sarawak, as well as other states in the country.
Nadma also noted that a total of 531 schools in Sarawak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Putrajaya, involving 363,991 students, have been ordered to shut down today due to the gaze situation..