PUTRAJAYA, June 4 — As of 11am today, Kuala Dungun in Terengganu is the only area reporting unhealthy air quality with an Air Pollutant Index (API) reading of 153. This is attributed to a forest fire in Kampung Tok Kah, Dungun, Terengganu.

Department of Environment (DoE) director-general Datuk Wan Abdul Latiff Wan Jaffar, said that following the API reading reaching 151-200 for over 24 hours in Kuala Dungun, the department has issued an Early Warning Notification 2 to the National Disaster Command Centre (NDCC). This is to facilitate the dissemination of an Operational Disaster Preparedness Notice to the relevant state and district authorities.

The purpose of this notice is to activate the District/State Disaster Management Committees and implement response measures based on the National Haze Action Plan.

“The department has intensified enforcement and monitoring activities on land and from the air using drones, and continues to monitor the API readings regularly.

“Coordination among related agencies to plan fire prevention and control measures have also been carried out,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said, the API recorded on the department’s website at 11am today showed 34 other areas recorded air quality status at a good level while 32 areas recorded moderate air quality.

He said the Regional Haze Map released by the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) yesterday (June 3) reported that the southern Asean region experienced cloudy weather in most parts except the central part of Sumatra and parts of Borneo which experienced dry weather.

“No hotspots were observed in the southern region of Asean. The wind is expected to blow from the east to the southeast,” he said.

Wan Abdul Latiff also advised all land owners to closely monitor areas that are prone to catch fire such as landfills, forests, peatlands, fields, agricultural and industrial areas and take measures to prevent encroachment by unauthorised parties responsible for causing open burning either for a specific purpose or accidentally.

The latest hourly API readings are available on the DoE website at http://apims.doe.gov.my/ or by downloading the official MyIPU smartphone application on ‘Google Play’. — Bernama