As the haze makes its presence felt once again, unhealthy levels of air pollution were recorded in several areas of western Peninsular Malaysia, while other parts of the country registered moderate and good readings.
As of 8pm yesterday, the Air Pollutant Index (API) reading in Banting, Selangor, was 128, while Putrajaya, the administrative capital, registered a reading of 121, said Malaysia’s Department of Environment website.
Other areas that recorded a reading above 100 included Cheras in Kuala Lumpur (101); Shah Alam in Selangor (105); Port Klang (114); and Nilai in Negeri Sembilan (105).
An API reading of between zero and 50 indicates good air quality; between 51 and 100, moderate; between 101 and 200, unhealthy; between 201 and 300, very unhealthy; and more than 301, hazardous.
Some areas in Johor, such as Kota Tinggi and Muar, and Malacca had good to moderate readings.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister G Palanivel said on Monday that the haze was caused by burning activities in Central Sumatra, Indonesia and that the south-westerly winds brought it to Malaysia.
He added that the Singapore-based ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) said moderate haze was detected from the burning area in the Riau region on Saturday.
“ASMC reported that there were 88 hot spots detected through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite imagery in Sumatra on June 21,” Mr Palanivel said.
The satellite imagery also detected 17 hot spots in Malaysia, including one each in Pahang and Terengganu, five in Sabah and 10 in Sarawak.
Mr Palanivel said he expected the hazy conditions to persist until September.