Air quality drops in Malaysia

Air quality drops in Malaysia

14 July 2009

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Malaysia —

Air quality in Malaysia dropped with higher Air Pollutant Index (API) recorded and haze, according to local newspaper reports on Tuesday.

The Malaysian Environment Department (DOE) statistics showed that 37 regions in the country had registered moderate readings between 51 and 100 API at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, according to the New Straits Times.

The department said that some area within the Klang Valley, including Kuala Lumpur and some major cities in Selangor State registered moderate readings. These areas included Port Klang with 91 API, Petaling Jaya with 59 API and Shah Alam with 62API.

Meanwhile, DOE director-general Rosnani Ibrahim said that the haze that appeared in Klang Valley on Monday, was not affected by higher API, The Star reported.

Rosnani said that the haze might be caused by the 88 hotspots in Sumatra in Indonesia, while the peat fires in Selangor State which had started more than a week before, was not the main contributor to the haze.

In addition, the Malaysian Meteorological Department’s Fire Danger Rating System showed that 75 percent of Malaysia has been categorized as high-risk areas for fires.

Some areas that covered Malaysian states of Selangor, Perak, Terengganu, Pahang, Kelantan, Sarawak and Sabah, were listed in the extreme category that could easily catch fire and would require strict enforcement and high public awareness.

However, the department said that the fires could be easily controlled, as the fire intensity in most part of Malaysia ranged in low and moderate level based on the Fire Weather Index.

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