Sarawak On The Alert For Haze

Sarawak On The Alert For Haze

19 August 2007

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KUCHING – Sarawak is taking precautionary measures by monitoring the climatic change to face the possibility of the haze returning to engulf the state.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan said the haze which engulfed the state’s air space since several days ago was worrying.

“The weather is a bit unusual and unpredictable. In the normal course of things, now, we would have been past the time for haze. We are worried about what is going to happen (later).

“Now, we put on alert all the time. Let’s wait and see what will happen in the next two weeks then we can be more sure what is going to happen,” he told reporters after the convention of the Sarawak branch of the Red Crescent Society here Sunday.

The haze has started to engulf several divisions in the state with poor air quality reported in Kuching, Bintulu, Miri, Limbang, Kapit and Samarahan since yesterday.

The Air Pollution Index (API) reading, as at 11am today, in Kuching was 73 while Samarahan and Bintulu (65), Sri Aman (61), Kapit (47), Miri (45), Sarikei (41), Bintulu (40) and Limbang (31).

Dr Chan, who is also the State Disaster and Relief Management Committee Chairman, said the state government had not withdrawn the permit for open burning in the state.

If the haze situation worsened, Sarawak would freeze the issuing of permit for open burning to plantation companies, he added.

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