Rompin goes red as Klang Valley chokes on haze

A thick blanket of haze shrouds Kuala Lumpur city centre, September 10, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A thick blanket of haze shrouds Kuala Lumpur city centre, September 10, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 — Air pollution in Rompin, Pahang surpassed the “very unhealthy” level last night and remained so at 8am this morning as the noxious haze continued to worsen in the peninsula and Sarawak.

Rompin hit 201 on the official Air Pollutant Index at 9pm yesterday and continued to deteriorate across the night to arrive at 228 at 8am. A reading of above 200 is considered “very unhealthy”.

Nilai, Negri Sembilan, was also covered in severe haze with an API reading of 157.

Elsewhere in the peninsula, the highest concentration of affected sites is in the Klang Valley where key locations in Selangor as well as Kuala Lumpur all stayed firmly in the “unhealthy” range.

The country’s administrative capital of Putrajaya was the worst of the rest with an API reading of 151, followed by Cheras (142), Shah Alam (135), and Petaling Jaya (134).

Across the South China Sea, Sarawak that is closest to the most severe hotspots in Kalimantan continued to suffer from the haze at major locations.

Sri Aman fluctuated from 200 to 168 over the night while Kuching peaked at 166 before settling at 154 at 8am.

The Education Ministry announced yesterday that 409 schools would be closed in Sarawak but added that the Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR) examinations would proceed as scheduled.

Countries in the region including Malaysia are convinced Indonesia and its seasonal land razing are behind the annual haze but the latter has sought to deny sole responsibility.