Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — Sarawak opened an operations room Tuesday to monitor the haze situation after four urban centres including the state capital reported unhealthy air quality.
The four centres are Sri Aman where the Air Pollutant Index (API) reading at 11am today stood at 119, Samarahan (117), Kuching (113) and Bintulu (105), according to the official website of the Department of Environment.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan said the situation had to be monitored closely as the forecast was for another four weeks of dry weather which would worsen the haze.
Dr Chan told Bernama that he would discuss with the relevant agencies on measures to be taken should the situation deteriorates further and affect preparations to host the 49th Merdeka Day national-level celebrations in Kuching on Aug 31.
He called on the public to stop open burning and reduce their exposure to the outside air.
Asked whether the state was planning cloud seeding to create rain to clear the haze, he said he would discuss the possibility with the relevant agency although it might not be easy to find suitable clouds in the present hot weather.
The API readings in other towns remained moderate.