Johan Setia station records very unhealthy API reading of 213 at 11 am

PUTRAJAYA, No stations recorded good air quality status as of 11 am today, while the station in Johan Setia, Klang, recorded a very unhealthy Air Pollution Index (API) reading of 213, the Department of Environment (DOE) reported today.

The DOE in a statement said the situation in Johan Setia was caused by transboundary haze and several incidents of open burning in privately-owned land and orchards such as at Jalan 4B, Johan Setia and Jalan Sungai Tengkorak, Kg Teluk Gong, Klang.

A total of 29 schools in Selangor were closed today due to the worsening haze.

Forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia, are still causing transboundary haze and a major increase in the API readings in most areas in the western, southern and eastern states of the Peninsular Malaysia, as well as western Sarawak, the DOE said.

Based on the Singapore-based ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) report yesterday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite image detected 221 hotspots in Sumatra, 1,307 in Kalimantan, and 20 in Malaysia, namely Johor (four), Melaka (two) and Sarawak (14).

A regional haze Map released by the ASMC yesterday (Sept 12) showed that moderate to dense smoke haze was observed to emanate from the forest fires in eastern, western, central and southern Kalimantan, as well as in the provinces of Jambi, Riau, Lampung and South Sumatra.

Some of the smoke haze has been blown by the prevailing winds to affect western parts of Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, causing an increase in the API readings in those areas, said DOE.

As of 11 am today, 25 stations recorded unhealthy API readings, while 42 stations recorded moderate air quality.

An API reading of 0-50 shows good air quality; 51-100, moderate; 101-200, unhealthy; 201-300, very unhealthy and over 300, hazardous.

The stations that recorded unhealthy API reading were Sungai Petani, Kedah (111); Kulim Hi-Tech, Kedah (109); Seberang Jaya, Pulau Pinang (107); Minden, Pulau Pinang (114); Balik Pulau, Penang (111) ; Tasek Ipoh, Perak (120); Pegoh Ipoh, Perak (103) ; Seri Manjung, Perak (126); Batu Muda, Kuala Lumpur (154); Cheras, Kuala Lumpur (146); Putrajaya, (142), Kuala Selangor, Selangor (103).

Also in Petaling Jaya, Selangor (141); Shah Alam, Selangor (136) ; Klang, Selangor (129); Banting, Selangor (126); Nilai, Negeri Sembilan (128); Seremban, Negeri Sembilan (107) ; Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan (104); Bukit Rambai, Melaka, (105); Melaka Historical City, Melaka (107); Segamat, Johor (107); Batu Pahat, Johor (102); Rompin, Pahang (168) and Tangkak, Johor (134).

The DOE also advised the public not to engage in outdoor activities, such as sporting event or festival, that will expose them to unhealthy air.

Members of the public are also reminded not to carry out open burning or allow their land or premises to be entered by irresponsible parties who might cause an open burning, either purposely or accidentally, he said.

A nationwide ban on open burning was issued by the DOE Director-General on Sept 11.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)