KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 (Bernama) -- A total of 43 areas in the country recorded unhealthy Air Pollution Index (API) readings with Johan Setia Klang registering very unhealthy air quality this evening.
Johan Setia Klang API hit 213 as at 7pm today and with that 57 schools, 30 in Kuala Langat and 27 in Klang will be closed tomorrow, which will affect 68,025 students.
Increased API readings as well as hazy conditions in several other areas had also resulted in the cancellation of six flights at the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport (LTSAS) here this morning, disrupting the travel plans of 747 passengers.
LTSAS manager Mohd Ali Osman in a statement today said, the affected flights were Air Asia’s flights plying Johor Bahru-Ipoh-Singapore and Singapore-Ipoh-Johor Bahru routes as well as the Singapore-Ipoh-Singapore route via Singapore's low-cost carrier, FlyScoot.
Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) in a statement said the monsoon transition phase is expected to begin from Tuesday, marking the end of the Southwest Monsoon which brings the southwest winds from the neighbouring country.
"The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MET) predicts that by tonight or tomorrow night the east or northeast winds are expected to head towards the country and the haze from the neighbouring country will no longer be blown here.
"During the monsoon transition phase, winds are expected to blow in several directions and the country will experience more humid weather conditions," it said.
According to Nadma cloud seeding operations would continue next week in the haze-affected states in the Peninsula but this would depend on atmospheric conditions.
On the peat fires in Sri Aman, Sarawak, the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department would continue with the fire fighting operation on land with the assistance of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) and other state agencies.
The ongoing peat fires burning in several areas in Sri Aman covers an area of about 10 acres (4.04 hectares).
“The MMEA today implemented water bombing in the Sri Aman, Sarawak forest fire areas. The water bombing along with the on land fire fighting operation, had eased the situation,” the statement said.
Due to the atmospheric conditions, cloud seedings in Sarawak were postponed today and would discontinue for now, as winds from the east which have started to blow were expected to bring rain.
According to the Malaysian Air Pollution Index Management System (APIMS) as at 7pm today, areas recording unhealthy API were Langkawi (117), Sungai Petani (117), Kulim Hi-Tech (129) in Kedah; Seberang Jaya (119), Seberang Perai (115), Minden (159) and Balik Pulau (176) in Penang; Taiping (126), Tasek Ipoh (179), Pegoh Ipoh (153), Seri Manjung (142) in Perak; Batu Muda (143), Cheras (142), Putrajaya (164); Kuala Selangor (173), Petaling Jaya (152), Shah Alam (159), Klang (145) and Banting (130) in Selangor.
In Negeri Sembilan, Nilai registered 160, Seremban (141), Port Dickson (129); in Melaka, Alor Gajah recorded (113), Bukit Rambai (112), Melaka City (102); in Johor, Segamat recorded (126), Batu Pahat (106), Larkin (118), Pasir Gudang (121), Pengerang (113), Tangkak (101); in Pahang, the API in Rompin was (124), Temerloh (134), Jerantut (131), Indera Mahkota Kuantan (154) and Balok Baru Kuantan (139); in Terengganu, Kemaman recorded 152, Paka (130), Kuala Terengganu (142) while in Sarawak, Miri registered 103, Sri Aman (189), Samarahan (119) and Kuching (103).
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.