Haze: 162 schools in Penang forced to close

18 Sep 2019 / 16:33 H.

GEORGE TOWN: A total of 162 schools in the Barat Daya and Timur Laut districts have been forced to close after the Air Pollutant Index (API) readings in the areas reached very unhealthy levels today.

State Education Department acting director Abdul Rashid Abdul Samad told Bernama that the closure involved 51 schools in Barat Daya and 111 schools in Timur Laut.

Barat Daya recorded an API reading of 225 while 203 in Timur Laut.

Earlier, state Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh announced that the State Education Department had ordered schools in Barat Daya to close after the area recorded an API reading of 204 this morning.

He said as of this morning, the API reading of 211 was recorded in Balik Pulau; Minden (197); Seberang Prai (156); Seberang Jaya (149).

In SELANGOR, the state government will coordinate the decision on the closure of schools in the state following the current haze situation.

State Environment, Green Technology, Science, Technology and Innovation and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Hee Loy Sian said the move was in line with the state government’s stand on the haze problem.

“The state government will also increase the cloud seeding operations in areas with API readings exceeding 150,“ he said in a statement today adding that face masks would also be distributed to the public.

Hee said the state government through various agencies including the Department of Environment and local authorities will also increase patrols to prevent open burning activities. — Bernama

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