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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Forest fires in Kalimantan behind haze, says environment dept

The haze in Malaysia was caused by forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan, says the environment department. (Twitter pic)

PETALING JAYA: The unhealthy air pollution readings in parts of the country today is due to forest fires in southern Sumatra and Kalimantan, says the environment department.

The department’s director-general, Wan Abdul Latiff Wan Jaffar said the forest fires caused transboundary haze to affect the west coast of the peninsula as well as the western part of Sarawak.

“Satellite imagery from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration detected 52 hotspots in Sumatra, 264 hotspots in Kalimantan, and no hotspots detected within (Malaysia),” Wan Abdul Latiff said in a statement.

He said dry weather conditions are expected to continue in central and southern Sumatra as well as southern Kalimantan, with wind blowing the thick haze north-westward.

Hotspots in Indonesia, shown in this map by the Asean transboundary haze portal. Blue arrows denote prevailing winds. (ASMC map)

However, rainfall in several parts of western Kalimantan may help reduce hotspots and hazy conditions, he added.

As of 11pm, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur had the highest API with an “unhealthy” reading of 155. Other areas with poor air were Kuala Selangor (152), Petaling Jaya (152), Shah Alam (151), Putrajaya (121), Batu Muda (107) and Johan Setia (106), all within the Klang Valley.

Nilai in Negeri Sembilan also suffered hazy conditions with an API of 133, while in Penang, only Seberang Jaya is experiencing unhealthy air quality with an API of 105.

Other parts of the nation have good to moderate API readings. - FMT

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