Air quality in parts of Malaysia improve towards end of day

Air quality in parts of Malaysia improve towards end of day
Still hazy: Two men trying their luck at catching fish at a former mining pool in Puchong, Selangor.
PHOTO: The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The air quality in Banting, Selangor, improved from an unhealthy air pollutant index (API) reading of 103 at noon to a moderate 93.

The Department of Environment's portal had Larkin Lama and Pasir Gudang in Johor, which had unhealthy API readings yesterday morning, registering moderate readings of 93 and 85 respectively as of 8pm.

Other areas which registered moderate readings included Port Klang (79), Petaling Jaya (64), Bukit Rambai, Port Dickson, Putrajaya and Cheras, Kuala Lumpur (80 each), Malacca (77), Kota Tinggi (63), Nilai (74), Seremban (72) and Muar (63).

An API reading of 0 to 50 indicates good air quality; 51 to 100, moderate; 101 to 200, unhealthy; 201 to 300, very unhealthy; and 300 and above, hazardous.

Malaysian Meteorological DepartĀ­ment director-general Datuk Che Gayah Ismail said the haze was expected to end next month.

She said the northeast monsoon was expected to commence in the first or second week of November, and would end in the second week of March next year.

"Beginning November, we will experience the northeast monsoon winds. This means the wind from the South China Sea will not bring in the haze from Indonesia, and the country will be free from the haze," she said.

She said the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry had implemented 29 cloud-seeding operations to reduce the effects of haze since March.

Che Gayah said cloud-seeding operations would be continued in areas which recorded unhealthy API over a period of 72 hours.

"Cloud seeding has successfully produced rainfall in some areas affected by the haze, including the Klang Valley," she said.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar is scheduled to meet Indonesian officials on the assistance required from Malaysia to fight forest fires in the republic.

He said Malaysia had sent an aircraft to Indonesia to extinguish the forest fires and the Indonesian government said it had helped a bit.

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