Haze thickens, Tanjung Malim air now unhealthy, KL borderline

Motorists travel along a haze-shrouded Federal Highway in Kuala Lumpur August 29, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Motorists travel along a haze-shrouded Federal Highway in Kuala Lumpur August 29, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 — Northeasterly winds blowing thick smoke from Sumatra in neighbouring Indonesia blanketed the west coast of the Malaysian peninsula in a haze today, clogging the air with pollutants and lowering visibility.

The central and southern regions were the most affected, with the air pollutant index (API) rising steadily throughout the day.

The air in the town of Tanjung Malim in Perak has crossed into the unhealthy zone as at 5pm, with an API reading of 119 compared to 47 at noon. Ozone particles have also been recorded.

Several districts within the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya are also borderline unhealthy, with API readings in the high 90s.

The air quality in township of Cheras now stands at 97 while the Batu Muda district is a notch below at 96; Putrajaya levels are at 93. All three areas also record ozone particles in the air.

Dataran Merdeka is shrouded in haze in Kuala Lumpur August 29, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Dataran Merdeka is shrouded in haze in Kuala Lumpur August 29, 2016. — Picture by Choo Choy May

The air quality in Selangor, the country’s most industrialised state, is also inching towards unhealthy levels with the highest API readings recorded in the state capital of Shah Alam at 93 and Petaling Jaya at 91, also with ozone particles.

The air quality in Malacca and Johor range are between 60 and the high side of 80, but have yet to cross the 90-level mark on the API.

Elsewhere in the peninsula, records show the air quality to still be healthy.

Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency warned over the weekend that current wind conditions blowing eastwards will mean the smoke from forest fires in Sumatra’s central Riau province will blanket Malaysia and Singapore in the next few days.

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