PETALING JAYA: A total of eight areas – five in Selangor, two in Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya – recorded unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API) readings yesterday.
Based on checks with the Department of Enviroment (DoE) at 4pm, areas that recorded unhealthy API readings were Petaling Jaya (147), Shah Alam (139), Klang (116), Banting (119), Johan Setia (160) in Selangor; Batu Muda (169) and Cheras (157) in Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya (143).
The API readings for areas in Sarawak showed an improvement from “very unhealthy” the previous day to “unhealthy” yesterday, including Sri Aman (179), Samarahan (118) and Kuching (139).
Meanwhile, due to the unhealthy air quality in Sarawak yesterday, the State Education Department closed 409 schools in nine districts comprising 62 secondary schools and 347 primary schools, involving 157,479 students.
It also said that the examination board will postpone examinations if the API reaches 300.
According to Malaysian Meteorological Department (MET) director-general Jailan Simon, the haze is expected to persist until the end of September. Apart from forests fires and uncontrolled open burning, he cited the dry spell we are facing now where chances of heavy rain is slim.
With that, the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) has advised the public, especially in states and areas where API readings are at “very unhealthy” and “unhealthy” levels, to remain in closed environments and to reduce physical activity outdoors.
The public are also urged to wear masks if there is a need to be in open environments and to drink enough water.
An API reading of 0 to 50 indicates good air quality; 51 to 100, moderate; 101 to 200, unhealthy; 201 to 300, very unhealthy and 300 and above, hazardous.