PUTRAJAYA: The ongoing forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia are still contributing to the transboundary haze and hike in Air Pollutant index (API) in all areas of the peninsula, Sarawak and western Sabah, according to the Department of Environment (DOE) today.
On Saturday, the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) reported the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 20 (NOAA-20) image satellite detected an increase in hotspots with 777 in Sumatra and 363 in Kalimantan, the DOE said in its air quality and haze status report.
“The haze from Sumatra has affected almost the entire Peninsular Malaysia. Clusters of hotspots in western, central and southern Kalimantan have continued to contribute to the haze impacting Sarawak.”
Nine hotspots were detected in the country with three in Selangor and two each in Johor, Terengganu and two Sarawak.
Some hot spots could not be captured in the satellite image due to thick clouds and not everything could be tracked by the satellite.
“The DOE has increased enforcement actions and daily patrol activities at areas where open burning are rampant while constantly monitoring the API readings,” it added.
Overall air quality in the country were still affected by the transboundary haze as very unhealthy API readings was recorded at one station (Johan Setia, Selangor), 43 stations recorded unhealthy readings and 23 moderate readings and none of the 67 stations recorded good air quality.
The DOE also called on members of the public to refrain from outdoor activities especially when the API reading exceeds 150.
An API between zero and 50 indicates good air quality; 51 and 100, moderate; 101 and 200, unhealthy; 201 and 300, very unhealthy and 300 and above, hazardous. – BERNAMA