Haze in Malaysia: Air ‘hazardous’ in Miri, ‘unhealthy’ in Johan Setia

A screenshot of the Air Pollution in Malaysia: Real-time Air Quality Index Visual Map.
A screenshot of the Air Pollution in Malaysia: Real-time Air Quality Index Visual Map.

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10 — The haze sweeping across Malaysia is at a hazardous level in Miri, Sarawak as at 1pm today.

According to the latest Air Pollutant Index (API) reading, the Industrial Training Institute (ILP) in the northwest town close to Brunei in Borneo Malaysia is at 391.

Other areas surrounding the ILP in Miri, like SK Kuala Baram 2 recorded an unhealthy reading of 134 on the API.

In the peninsula, Johan Setia in Selangor has the worst API record at an unhealthy 115.

Malaysia’s API has five categories of air quality. Hazardous levels are readings above 300 while 201-300 is considered very unhealthy; 101-200 is unhealthy; 51-100 is moderate and everything below 50 is good.

Southeasterly winds have been blowing thick smoke from forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan Indonesia towards Malaysia both in the Malay peninsula and in Borneo.

However, the API readings for the rest of the country has been in the moderate zone.

Last Thursday, Meteorological Department deputy director-general of operations Muhammad Helmi Abdullah said haze levels in the country are estimated to clear up after the middle of net month.

The calculations were made based on the wind direction's changes and frequent rainfall, which are expected in the third week of September and into October during the southwest monsoon shift.

Helmi said the haze will remain present as long as the southwest monsoon winds keep on blowing and the forest fire hotspots in Kalimantan and Sumatra remained.

He advised the public to avoid open burning activities and to reduce outdoor activities for the time being.