GEORGE TOWN: The Northern states continued recording unhealthy Air Pollutant Index readings as of 8am today.
The latest readings publish on Department of Environment’s website showed Seberang Jaya 2, Perai recording the highest reading of 176 followed by Bakar Arang in Sungai Petani (175) and Langkawi (172).
Other northern areas with unhealthy API are Alor Star (172, USM (164), Kangar(161), Perai (151), Seri Manjung and SK Jalan Pegoh, Ipoh (both at 137), Kg. Air Putih, Taiping (127), Jalan Tasek, Ipoh (119) and Tanjung Malim (112) .
The Education Ministry yesterday, had ordered schools in Perak, Penang and Perlis to be closed due to the poor air quality.
For Kedah, the ministry said, schools will be closed as it’s a weekend holiday. Kedah practises a weekend holiday on Friday and Saturday.
In Kangar, Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Kamarudin Hussin has allowed the classes deferred yesterday to resume as usual today.
He stressed that safety and health aspects have to be given attention and face masks should be worn outside the building while outdoor activities should be avoided.
Meanwhile in Penang, early morning heavy rain brought some respite to the haze in the state.
The situation today is however a vast improvement from noon yesterday where the API readings were at very unhealthy level, particularly on the mainland, at 280.
Meanwhile, lectures and tutorials at Universiti Sains Malaysia's main campus, in Bertam and its engineering campus, resumed as usual.
USM registrar Siti Zubaidah A. Hamid said with the marked improvement in API reading, the university decided to resume all indoor activities.
However, outdoor activities are still forbidden.
"We advise all campus community to practise extreme precaution at all times.
"The university will continue to monitor the situation," she added.
The haze situation in othe areas showed improvements as the readings declined.
The 12 areas with unhealthy API are: Kuala Selangor (130), SMK Tanjung Chat, Kota Baru (123), Sri Aman (120), Port Klang (119), Tanah Merah and Kemaman (both at 114), Balok Baru, Kuantan (112), Samarahan (106), Kuala Terengganu (105), Shah Alam (102), Paka (103) and Indera Mahkota, Kuantan (101).
As the haze situation improved, Education Ministry ordered schools closed yesterday in N. Sembilan, Selangor, Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Bentong in Pahang; Kuching, Sri Aman, Samarahan and Betong in Sarawak to reopen today
An API of between 0 to 50 is considered good, 51 to 100 (moderate), 101 to 200 (unhealthy), 201 to 300 (very unhealthy), 301 and above (hazardous).