Monday, July 11, 2011

The haze is back in Malaysia

The haze is back. Today, major parts of the country were shrouded in haze as a result of fires in Sumatra and Borneo.

According to The Star, satellite images showed 217 hotpots in Sumatra yesterday and over 300 in Borneo and 13 in the peninsula as of 6am this morning.

Petaling Jaya recorded a poor visibility level of 2.5km as of 4pm this afternoon while Sepang and Kuantan had a visibility of 1.5km and 4km respectively.

Normal visibility levels should be more than 10km.

Moderate air quality readings for 36 areas or 73% were recorded by the Department of Environment while the remaining areas were still within the healthy API reading of between 0 to 50 as of 11am this morning.

API at various parts of the country as reported by The Star:

As of 5pm yesterday, Bukit Rambai in Malacca recorded the worst air quality reading at 83, followed by Nilai in Negri Sembilan at 80. Nine areas recorded readings of above 70 including Shah Alam (79) and Port Klang (77) while Petaling Jaya had an API of 67.

The API for Sabah and Sarawak varied between 24 and 68.

Visibility levels dropped for several hours to 2km in some areas, including Petaling Jaya however levels improved in most areas by 8pm including Sepang (KLIA) which went from 1.5km at 4pm to 9km by 8pm.

However, levels still remained poor for Petaling Jaya (6km), Sitiawan (3km), Kuantan (6km) and Kuala Terengganu (6km) as of 8pm.

Dry conditions are expected to persist until September due to the southwest monsoon although showers have been forecasted in the west coast and isolated thunderstorms in the east coast later in the week. In East Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak are expected to be fair today with showers in Limbang, Miri, Sandakan and the interiors of Sabah and Tawau. Though it could be a health hazard, the haze is a normal occurrence at this time of the year due to the dry weather conditions.

Patients with diseases associated with breathing problems are advised to take extra precautions during the haze period, doctors advised to Shield yourself against the haze..

Source: The Star

Related article:
Malaysia in haze

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