KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 20): Air quality in Sri Aman, Sarawak, has reached the hazardous level again this morning with the Air Pollutant Index (API) reading soared to 414 as of 9 am, compared to 210 recorded at 5 pm yesterday.
Sri Aman, located near the Kalimantan region of Indonesia, is currently experiencing forest fires and transboundary haze, leading to increased API readings in all areas near western region of Sarawak and around Tawau and Sandakan in Sabah.
Four other areas in the state also recorded very unhealthy air quality, namely, Sibu (204), Sarikei (235), Samarahan (218) and Kuching (250).
Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (Mestecc) Yeo Bee Yin yesterday said another cloud seeding operation would be carried out in Sarawak today to help lower the API readings in the state.
Meanwhile, forest fires in Sumatra have caused air quality in areas along the west coast and south of Peninsular Malaysia to deteriorate.
A total of 23 areas recorded unhealthy readings across the country with more than 101 in the API readings, namely, Minden (111) and Balik Pulau (108) in Penang; Tasek Ipoh (161) and Ipoh Pegoh (119) in Perak; two areas in Kuala Lumpur namely Batu Muda (164) and Cheras (155) as well as Putrajaya (137).
Other places recorded unhealthy air quality are six areas in Selangor, namely Kuala Selangor (111), Petaling Jaya (154), Shah Alam (143), Klang (121), Banting (116) and Johan Setia Klang (156); and three areas in Negeri Sembilan, namely, Nilai (135), Seremban (116) and Port Dickson (115).
In addition, Segamat in Johor also recorded unhealthy API at 105, while in Terengganu, Kuala Terengganu recorded API of 109 and Besut (104) and four areas in Sarawak were also experiencing similar conditions, namely in Miri (104), Samalaju (103), Bintulu (116) and Mukah (167).
Meanwhile, 40 areas in the Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak registered moderate API readings.
An API between zero and 50 indicates good air quality; 51 and 100, moderate; 101 and 200, unhealthy; 201 and 300, very unhealthy and 300 and above, hazardous.