The haze is here again

The haze is here again

PETALING JAYA - Local pollution and lower rainfall have contributed to a thin layer of haze enveloping certain parts of the country.

Malaysian Meteorological De­­partment spokesman Dr Hisham Mohd Anip said the haze, likely due to smoke emitted from factories and vehicles, was not too serious at present.

Dr Hisham said no rainfall was expected until next week, except for local isolated rain in inland areas.

"We are now in the south-west monsoon season. It is normal for the country to receive low rainfall during this season," he said.

"Most places in the peninsula will get rainfall between 75mm and 150mm this month, which is 20-40 per cent lower than normal."

He said the south-west monsoon season, which began in the middle of last month, would continue until early September, bringing in heat, less rainfall and fewer cloud formations.

He added that the El Nino phenomenon would kick in between this month and August and persist for at least five to six months.

Dr Hisham said the hot spell had also caused an increase in the number of open burning, forest and peat fires.

A check with the Fire and Rescue Depart­ment's website revealed a total of 416 cases of open burning, forest fires and peat fires throughout the country as of Monday.

"However, the number of hot spots detected (based on satellite images) is still low," said Dr Hisham.

"On Thursday, we detected two hot spots in the peninsula and Sabah and nine in Sarawak."

Satellite images also showed two hot spots in Sumatera and 26 in Kalimantan, Indonesia, but Dr Hisham said they did not contribute to the current hazy condition.

The Air Pollutant Index (API) readings as at 3pm showed many places with good and moderate readings.

An API reading between 0 and 50 is considered good; 51 to 100, moderate; 101 to 200, unhealthy; 201 to 300, very unhealthy; and 301 and above, hazardous.

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