48 hotspots detected in Malaysia and Indonesia

Haze in Kuala Lumpur.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA - At least 48 hotspots have been identified in Malaysia and Indonesia as of yesterday, said the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia). Its director-general Jailan Simon said two hotspots were discovered in Pahang and Johor, six in Kalimantan and 40 in Sumatra.

On Monday, MetMalaysia said there were four hotspots in the country, with all of them detected in Pahang.

Jailan said the department would continuously monitor the situation nationwide and will furnish information to the relevant agencies for enforcement as well as disaster management preparations.

"People are advised to follow the instructions from the authorities and not do any open burning, especially when the weather is hot and dry," he said.

"We would also like to advise everyone to follow the health guidelines issued by the Health Ministry during the haze."

Checks on the Department of Environment's Air Pollutant Index (API) website showed all stations in Malaysia were classified as "moderate", except for one station.

The Johan Setia, Klang station recorded an "unhealthy" API level of up to 105 yesterday as at 5pm. It had a steady "unhealthy" reading from 5am yesterday.

API levels of 51 to 100 are classified as "moderate", API levels above 100 are considered "unhealthy" and above 200 is "very unhealthy".

National Water Services Commission chairman Charles Santiago said currently there is sufficient water, but he advised consumers to conserve water.

"I think we (may be) going into a dry spell soon but we need to conserve water; that is the responsibility of every household and business, to ensure that water is used responsibly," he said.

Checks on the Selangor Water Management Authority's website showed that water levels at most dams in the state are above 80 per cent.

Santiago, however, said water operators and state governments in Negri Sembilan and Melaka have been monitoring the water levels regularly due to the dry and hot spell.