Some relief from cloud-seeding, but more schools to be closed

The scene from Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, this afternoon with polluted air enveloping Selangor and Negeri Sembilan.

KUALA LUMPU: Cloud-seeding brought rain relief to some haze-hit parts of Malaysia today but air quality in Putrajaya and parts of Selangor worsened, causing schools to be closed tomorrow.

All schools in Putrajaya, where air quality from smoke haze was “very unhealthy”, and 99 schools in Sepang, Hulu Langat, Kuala Langat and Klang in Selangor will be closed tomorrow as air pollution worsened towards “very unhealthy”.

Kuching and Sri Aman, Sarawak, and Johan Setia, Selangor, were also enveloped in “very unhealthy” haze for the second week, with air pollution easing in Samarahan.

Rain was reported in several areas of Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Melaka after cloud-seeding was conducted by the National Disaster Management Agency and the Air Force.

“Rain was reported in the Cheras, Bangsar, Petaling, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Langat, Klang and Gombak districts in Selangor, the Seremban, Tampin and Jelebu districts in Negeri Sembilan and the Alor Gajah and Jasin districts in Melaka,” said Jailan Sipon, director-general of the Meteorological Department.

Air pollution levels in the central Peninsula and western Sarawak at 8pm tonight caused by trans-boundary smoke haze.

All schools in Melaka will open as usual tomorrow as air pollution readings in the state had dropped to “unhealthy” from “very unhealthy” said state education director Abu Bakar Sahari. There are 315 primary and secondary schools in Melaka, with a total enrolment of 148,901 pupils.

At 8pm today, the reading in Bandaraya Melaka was 146, Bukit Rambai (147) and Alor Gajah (138).

However, the air pollution level in Putrajaya breached the 200 mark at 5pm to “very unhealthy” levels, causing the education department to order all schools to close tomorrow.

This is the first time Putrajaya schools have been ordered shut following worsening hazy conditions in the country since Sept 5.