Haze thickens in Georgetown, Penang. Pix by Danial Saad

GEORGE TOWN: Schools in Penang have been ordered to cancel their afternoon session today due to the worsening haze.

State Education Department deputy director Yeoh Kok Kheng said the announcement was made in the afternoon after the Air Pollutant Index (API) had reached unhealthy levels.

"The directive to halt the afternoon session in schools was made in the eleventh hour.

"The school closure is valid only for the afternoon session, we will decide if the closure continues tomorrow," he said when contacted.

The order to cancel the afternoon session schools was made when the API hit an unhealthy level of 153 on the island as of 1pm.

On the mainland, the situation was no better with API readings in Seberang Jaya and Prai recorded at 150 and 124, respectively as of 1pm.