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Bad air days ahead, again

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UNHEALTHY LEVELS: Tanjung Malim and Port Klang record worst pollution

  KUALA LUMPUR: KLANG Valley is once again blanketed in haze which blew in from Sumatra yesterday.

Based on the Air Pollutant Index (API) chart at the Department of Environment's (DOE) website, the air in two areas, Tanjung Malim in Perak and Port Klang in Selangor, was polluted.

As of 5pm yesterday, Tanjung Malim topped the chart with a reading of 122 followed by Kuala Selangor (109).

The API in Tanjung Malim had jumped from moderate level with an API of 64 at 11am to an unhealthy level at 5pm.

An air quality reading of 101 to 202 is considered "unhealthy", 51 to 100 is "moderate" and 0 to 50 is "good".

The air quality readings in some other areas as of 5pm yesterday include Cheras (80) in Kuala Lumpur; Banting (84), Kuala Selangor (76) and Petaling Jaya (73) in Selangor; Ipoh, Perak (75) and Seberang Prai, Penang (82).

The deteriorating air quality was first spotted in Port Klang at 11am on Monday with API of 118. The reading increased to 122 at 5pm on the same day.

A statement by the department said strong winds from the southwest of Sumatra, which is across the Straits of Malacca, had blown in the direction of Peninsular Malaysia, causing the haze. The department has also ordered a ban on open burning in all states.

As peat areas are known to be easily flammable, the department has also implemented the standard operating procedure for the prevention of peat fires and has begun conducting checks on gas emissions from factories and vehicles.

A satellite image given by the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre showed 22 hotspots in Sumatra on Monday.

The DOE updates the API readings three times a day at 7am, 11am and 5pm and the data is available at http://www.doe.gov.my/portal.

The Meteorological Department said the country was expected to experience hot and dry weather until October.

Based on the weather forecast by the department's website, there will be no rain in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Kelantan and Johor for the next three days.

The department forecast isolated rains and showers in Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Pahang, Selangor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Sabah and Sarawak over the next three days.

Westport, Port Klang, shrouded in haze yesterday.


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