HAZE UPDATE: Sumatra hotspots double to 118

KUALA LUMPUR - The number of hot spots detected in Sumatra via satellite NOAA-18 on Saturday rose almost two fold to 118 from 64 on Friday.

According to a statement from the Department of Environment (DOE), the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) in Singapore reported that the haze was becoming thicker from fires in Riau Province, Sumatera Tengah, Indonesia.

It said winds blowing from the southwest had carried haze from Riau to the central and southern part of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

"The increase in the Air Pollutant Index (API) reading at unhealthy and dangerous levels is still influenced by cross-boundary haze following the south west monsoon still experienced by Malaysia and is expected to continue until September," said the department.

According to DOE, the API recorded at 11am Sunday found Muar in Johor and Melaka City and Bukit Rambai in Malacca at dangerous levels.

Muar recorded an API of 690 while Bukit Rambai and Malacca city had readings of 428 and 415 respectively.

A total 17 stations in the country recorded unhealthy APIs, 30 moderate and two were categorised as good.

The stations which were at unhealthy levels were:

Selangor: Port Klang at 192, Petaling Jaya (125), Banting (115), Shah Alam (112) and Kuala Selangor (104).

Kuala Lumpur: Cheras (111) and Batu Muda (108). Negeri Sembilan: Nilai (106), Seremban (104) and Port Dickson (184).

Johor: Pasir Gudang (110), Larkin (117) and Kota Tinggi (124).

Pahang: Indera Mahkota (107) and Balok Baru (149). Terengganu: Paka (105) and Kemaman (153).

Based on the API, the readings of between 0 and 50 is categorised as good, 51 to 100 (moderate), 101 to 200 (unhealthy), 201 to 300 (very unhealthy) and 300 upwards, dangerous.

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