KUALA LUMPUR: Unhealthy air quality levels have been recorded in Rompin, Pahang and Banting, Selangor as of 7pm today.
A check with the Department of Environment’s Apims website showed that Rompin recorded an Air Pollutant Index (API) reading of 173, while Banting registered a reading of 111.
An API reading exceeding 100 indicates “unhealthy” air quality.
Images captured by New Straits Times photographers also showed haze in several areas in the country.
However, compared to earlier readings, both areas have shown a slight improvement. At 3am, Rompin had recorded a “very unhealthy” reading of 279, while Banting’s highest reading was at 5pm (114).
Also showing improvement is Shah Alam, Selangor, which recorded a reading of 95, with the highest reading reaching 124 at 1am.
Air quality readings in the rest of the nation were in the “moderate” range, with Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan registering an API of 99; followed by Alor Gajah, Melaka (95); Bukit Rambai, Melaka (94); and Putrajaya and Klang, Selangor (both 93).
Only Tawau and Sandakan, Sabah recorded healthy readings throughout the day as of 7pm.
Air quality in Pasir Gudang, which is in the midst of a chemical pollution crisis, recorded an API of just 59.
An API reading of between 0 and 50 is categorised as “good”; 51-100 as “moderate”; 101-200 as “unhealthy”; 201-300 as “very unhealthy”; and 300 and above as “hazardous.”
Earlier today, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi urged tour operators to keep tabs on the latest haze situation and to provide face masks to tourists if necessary.
He also urged the public, especially children, senior citizens and those with health problems to wear face masks when outside and to limit outdoor activities.
Ketapi also said the ministry is keeping a close watch on the haze situation amidst the ongoing heatwave and dry spell nationwide.