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Poor air quality in coastal areas

 | June 16, 2013

DOE noted an increase in its Air Pollution Index readings in several areas in the southern states of the peninsula.

PETALING JAYA:  The cross-border haze being blown in from neighbouring Sumatera, Indonesia is showing signs of ebbing, and the Department of Environment has advised people to drink alot of water and preferablu stay indoors.

According to the DOE six areas in the peninsular have recorded unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API), an increase of yesterday’s three.

Although more areas recorded higher API readings than yesterday, haze levels throughout Malaysia however continue to be generally moderate.

In  Johor, the API readings showed a  decreased from yesterday. Pasir Gudang is at a moderate  95 as opposed to yesterday’s API reading of 103.

As at 11 am today, Muar, which recorded the highest API reading yesterday, went down from 127 to 110.

The air pollutant index classifies readings from 0 to 50 as good, 51 to 100 as moderate, 101 to 200 as unhealthy, 201 to 300 as very unhealthy and readings of 301 and above as hazardous.

However, areas in Melaka increased in its API readings, with Melaka City going up from yesterday’s 101 to 129. The city also recorded the highest API reading this morning.

Bukit Rambai which recorded a moderate API reading yesterday, shot up from 88 to 120 today.

Likewise, three areas in Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and Terengganu recorded an increase in API readings from the moderate to unhealthy level.

Seafronts and beaches were a no-go this weekend with Port Dickson’s API reading rising from 75 to 117.  Port Klang in Selangor also saw an increase in API reading from 78 to 104.

In Terengganu, Kemaman also recorded an increase of API reading from 68 to 101.

Meanwhile satellite information released by the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre on June 14 showed that there were 46 hotspots in Sumatera and two in Sabah, Malaysia.

“The southwest monsoon winds blowing in from the hotspots in Central Sumatera have caused the haze phenomenon in the southern states of Peninsular Malaysia,” the statement said.

The statement also said that 12 API monitoring stations recorded good air quality, while 36 other stations recorded moderate API readings.

According to Bernama, DOE has also advised the public not to carry out open burning activities, but to report to the Fire Department or the DOE at 1-800-88-2727 should they detect any of such activities being carried out in their areas.

Muar District Health Officer Dr Zulkifli Othman also advised residents in the district to cut down outdoor activities to prevent the effects of haze of their health.

The public are also advised to drink plenty of water as a precautionary measure to prevent potential health impacts during haze, he said.


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