Klang Valley air quality improving


KUCHING: A total of 183 hotspots have been detected in Kalimantan and seven in Sumatra since yesterday, triggering the possibility of haze blanketing areas in Sarawak should the winds blow this way.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said, however, the haze in the country was still under control as no unhealthy Air Pollution Index reading (API of over 100) had been recorded anywhere.

He said that since yesterday hotspots were also detected in four areas in Sibu, four in Sri Aman, two in Miri, two in Kapit and one each in Limbang, Bintulu and Sarikei.

“The situation in haze-hit areas in the Klang Valley and surrounding areas is reported to be improving today,” he told a press conference after visiting Sekolah Kebangsaan Gersik here today.

Haze hit the Klang Valley a few days ago and areas around Manjung were the worst affected when the API hit the moderate level of 97 yesterday.

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. Nevertheless, until noon today, no areas in the country recorded an API of more than 70.

Wan Junaidi said the 183 hotspots detected by the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre based in Singapore since yesterday were a significant increase from the 177 hotspots reported the day before.

He anticipated that the haze this time would not be as bad as the situation experienced in the country late last year as the Indonesian Government as well as other Asean countries have shown their full commitment in tackling the problem to ensure the situation would not recur.