MetMalaysia: Open burning during hot weather cause of local haze

Pedestrians crossing the street against a hazy backdrop of the Perdana Putra building at Putrajaya Boulevard in Putrajaya March 2, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Pedestrians crossing the street against a hazy backdrop of the Perdana Putra building at Putrajaya Boulevard in Putrajaya March 2, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 — Several areas in the country are experiencing “local haze” which, among others, results from opening burning, especially during the current hot weather, said Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) deputy director-general (Strategic & Technical) Dr Mohd Hisham Mohd Anip.

He said the lack of rainfall and open burning activities contributed to the unhealthy air pollution index, thus causing haze.

“It definitely has a connection (with the hot weather), we do not plant enough (trees), whereas there are way too many open burning activities to clear farms and so on, so these cause the local haze,” he told Bernama today, while denying that the cause of the pollution was from a neighbouring country.

He said that the Department of Environment (DOE) also reported that fires have occurred in forest reserves.

As such, he said advised the public not to carry out open burning, cut down on outdoor activities and to drink sufficient amount of water.

Previously, MetMalaysia announced that the country was in the final phase of the North-East Monsoon, which is expected to last until the middle of this month, with low rainfall distribution in Peninsular Malaysia, particularly in the northern states.

However, MetMalaysia does not foresee any extraordinary hot weather in the country this year.

Based on the Air Pollutant Index (API) this morning, three areas in Selangor recorded unhealthy readings, with the API for Johan Setia, Klang at 183, followed by Banting (165) and Petaling Jaya (141). — Bernama

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