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In Sarawak, Sri Aman’s air quality reached the “hazardous” level at 8am today, with its API recorded at 365. - NSTP/courtesy of JPBN

KUALA LUMPUR: The haze blanketing much of Malaysia reached dangerous new levels today.

In Negri Sembilan, Port Dickson became the first district to see its air quality enter the “very unhealthy” range, as it registered an Air Pollutant Index (API) of 211 at 8am today.

The state’s Education Department has responded by ordering all schools in the district closed.

“As the API reading breached 200 at 6am this morning, all students in Port Dickson are forbidden from going to school today.

“Teachers who are unable to avoid performing their duties are advised to wear a face mask,” it said in a statement.

In Sarawak, Sri Aman’s air quality reached the “hazardous” level at 8am today, with its API recorded at 365.

Kuching is the next worst-hit area in the state, with a “very unhealthy” API reading of 219 this morning.

With the haze worsening, the state Education Department ordered 298 schools across the state closed today. It said the closure affects 128,291 students.

In Selangor, Johan Setia Klang continues to languish in polluted air, with its API reading at 8am this morning registered at a “very unhealthy” 232.

Meanwhile, the Selangor Education Department announced yesterday that 138 schools in Sepang, Hulu Langat, Kuala Langat, Klang and Petaling Perdana would be closed today. The closure affects 179,843 students, it said.

Nationwide, 29 areas are experiencing “unhealthy” air this morning; two districts have registered “very unhealthy” API readings; and one area has hit the “hazardous” air quality level.

API readings as of 8am today:

Perak

Seri Manjung – 177

Kuala Lumpur

Batu Muda – 156

Cheras – 146

Putrajaya – 179

Selangor

Kuala Selangor – 174

Petaling Jaya – 159

Shah Alam – 170

Klang – 193

Banting – 174

Johan Setia Klang – 233

Negri Sembilan

Nilai – 199

Seremban – 174

Port Dickson – 211

Melaka

Alor Gajah – 177

Bukit Rambai – 192

Melaka City – 168

Johor

Segamat – 145

Batu Pahat – 112

Kluang – 109

Tangkak – 132

Pahang

Temerloh – 137

Jerantut – 112

Indera Mahkota Kuantan – 118

Sarawak

ILP Miri – 107

Miri – 126

Samalaju – 113

Bintulu – 129

Mukah – 140

Sibu – 166

Sarikei – 148

Sri Aman – 365

Samarahan – 160

Kuching – 219

The API, issued by the Department of Environment, categorises a reading of between 0 and 50 as good; 51-100 (moderate); 101-200 (unhealthy); 201-300 (very unhealthy); and 300 (hazardous).

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