Openburning in Indonesia worsens visibility and air quality (published by The Star)

13August 2003

Open burning in Indonesia worsens visibility and air quality

The Star, 13 August 2003

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia — The air quality in Malaysia has deteriorated and visibility reduced with the south-west monsoon carrying pollutants into the country from open burning in Indonesia. The Department of Environment (DOE) director-general Rosnani Ibarahim issued a statement yesterday saying the relatively dry weather and increasing hotspots detected in Indonesia contributed to the worsened air quality. She said that Asean Meteorological Centre in Singapore detected 142 hot spots in Sumatra and 63 in Kalimantan on Monday but this changed to 32 and 111 respectively the following day.

Visibility in the west coast of the peninsula was reduced to between 3km and 7km while other areas are normal (over 10km). “The reduced visibility is partly due to humidity from rains in the afternoon and evening over the past few days, creating a misty surrounding and clouding visibility in several locations, especially Putrajaya,” she said, adding, however, that the air quality had not reached an unhealthy level. Rosnani said that no new open burning sites were detected in Klang Valley and Selangor. Several minor burning spots detected last week had been put out. People should provide a helping hand in putting out minor fires or alert authorities at 03-8889 1972 (DOE) or 03-8888 0336 (Fire and Rescue Department).


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