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Increase in number of hotspots in Sumatra, Kalimantan - DOE

Last update: 22/09/2019
PUTRAJAYA, Sept 22 (Bernama) -- 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.

Yesterday (Sept 21) 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 unhealthy API readings were recorded at 39 stations, as at 11 am today.

None of the stations recorded good air quality while 28 stations recorded moderate air quality, the statement added.

Among the 39 stations which recorded unhealthy air quality level were Sungai Petani, Kedah (API 110); Balik Pulau, Penang (160); Tasek Ipoh, Perak (178); Batu Muda, Kuala Lumpur (169), Putrajaya (134) and Kuala Selangor (152).

Meanwhile the API reading which hit hazardous level in Sri Aman on Saturday, dropped to unhealthy level at 195 this morning.

"Fire fighters are still fighting the blaze at Kampung STC, Jalan Tisak Betong and Jalan Ketajau in Sri Aman while cloud seeding operations are being conducted to reduce the haze and API in the areas," said the statement.

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



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