Air quality still ‘hazardous’ in Miri, ‘unhealthy’ in Johan Setia

Haze continues to affect several parts of Malaysia.

PETALING JAYA: The air quality in Miri, Sarawak, improved this morning, although it still recorded a “hazardous” reading, as haze continued to affect several parts of the country.

At 9am, Miri recorded an Air Pollutant Index (API) reading of 358, down from 375 at 9pm and 391 at 1pm yesterday.

An API reading of under 50 means the air quality is good, 51-100 moderate, 101-200 unhealthy, 201-300 very unhealthy, and above 300 hazardous.

Miri was the only Malaysian city with a “hazardous” reading this morning.

The Department of Environment (DOE) previously said peat fires, which had reportedly broken out at Kuala Baram in Miri, caused a spike in the API reading for the area.

No cities recorded “very unhealthy” readings, but Johan Setia in Selangor had an “unhealthy” reading of 136, up from 112 at 9pm yesterday.

Air quality was still “moderate” in most parts of the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak.

In Kedah and Perlis, air quality was “good” this morning, with four areas – Langkawi, Sungai Petani, Alor Setar and Kangar – recording readings of under 50.

Penang island still showed moderate readings while the air quality over Seberang Jaya and Seberang Prai on the mainland recorded was good.

Selangor, with the exception of Johan Setia, showed readings averaging between 76 and 96.

According to the DOE’s website, “hazardous” air affects public health while “very unhealthy” air can affect those with heart and lung complications. “Moderate” and “good” air does not pose any ill effects on one’s health.

The haze is believed to have originated from Kalimantan and Sumatera in Indonesia.

The National Open Burning Action Plan and National Haze Action Plan have been activated to coordinate action by the relevant government agencies.

The public have been advised not to carry out open burning.