Malaysia to face haze until end of the month

Not taking chances: Students wearing masks while outdoors in Shah Alam where the air quality dipped to unhealthy levels.

PETALING JAYA - The haze is expected to continue until the end of this month and the Meteorological Department will carry out cloud seeding if the Air Pollutant Index (API) goes beyond 100 for three consecutive days.

Science, Technology and Innova­tion Minister Datuk Madius Tan­gau said yesterday that the department, toget­her with the air force, would conduct cloud seeding if the atmosphere and cloud situation were suitable.

"The increase in the number of hotspots in Sumatra and Kalimantan and the hot and dry season over the last few days had resulted in the severe haze in Sarawak and several states in the ­pe­­­ninsula," Madius said in a statement.

The department has also issued poor visibility warning for ships travelling in the Strait of Malacca, Sarawak, Labuan and the west coast of Sabah.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the dry and haze sea­­son was expected to end with the start of the inter-monsoon season in October.

As of 11am yesterday, 17 areas had unhealthy air quality readings.

Among the worst were Port Klang which recorded an API of 164; Batu Muda, Kuala Lumpur (157); Shah Alam (156); and Kuala Selangor (151).