Many taking precautions against haze

KUALA TERENGGANU - Residents of Kuala Terengganu are not taking the haze lightly and some are already taking the necessary precautions.

Contractor Mohd Abdul Khafid Ahmad Rozi, 30, said yesterday, besides the hazy skies, the heat in the city has also been sweltering over the past few days.

"The haze is not that bad here, although I heard it's worse in other towns in Malaysia.

"But the air does feel a bit smoky so I wear a mask every time I ride my motorbike.

"However, I find the weather very hot of late.

"It makes you feel so sticky that you have to take several showers in a day," said Abdul Khafid, who lives in Kampung Tanjong.

Shop owner Shaikh Ahmad Zaki is worried that the haze will bring about illnesses and has been drinking plenty of water.

"Of late, my throat always feels parched so I keep drinking lots of water.

"I do not want to fall sick. I tell my wife and children to do the same too," he said.

The Air Pollutant Index (API) reading for Kuala Terengganu was 84, an increase from 70 the day before.

Kemaman remained the only district to record unhealthy API reading, although its 103 reading yesterday was an improvement from 121.

Meanwhile, in Klang, the skies have been clear for the past two days, but residents in Port Klang are keeping a lookout in the event the haze returns.

The API reading in Port Klang recorded an unhealthy level on Sunday, but had improved to moderate since Monday.

At Sekolah Rendah Agama Taman Kem, pupils were seen running and playing at the school compound during recess at 4pm.

Headmaster Mohd Nizam Sahari said there was no need to keep them indoors as the air quality was not at an unhealthy level.

"The haze is a yearly affair, so we monitor if the air quality drops. We have taken precaution by advising the pupils to drink more water," he said.

If the air quality worsens, Mohd Nizam said the children would have to be kept indoors.

Father of two, Yew Boon Lye, said he discourages his children from playing outdoors when haze shrouds the city.

"Children being children, they are not comfortable wearing masks. So, we encourage them to play indoors during the haze," said Yew, who has a five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son.

Selangor education department director Mahmud Karim said schools in affected areas would be advised to reduce outdoor activities.

"We will monitor the changes in air quality and get advice from the Department of Environment and other agencies," he said.

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