PETALING JAYA: The intermittent downpours nationwide brought some respite from the haze as most places recorded good and moderate API (air pollutant index) readings.
Earlier yesterday, seven areas had recorded unhealthy levels but as of 6pm, there were only three areas that reached unhealthy readings, according to the Department of Environment website.
The three areas were Nilai in Negri Sembilan, Banting in Selangor and Batu Muda in Kuala Lumpur, with API readings of 109, 110 and 102 respectively.
Other areas in Selangor such as Shah Alam, Petaling Jaya, Port Klang and Kuala Selangor had moderate readings.
An API reading between 0 and 50 is considered good; 51 to 100, moderate; 101 to 200, unhealthy; 201 to 300, very unhealthy; and 301 and above, hazardous.
The Health Ministry has advised people to take preventive measures to reduce the effects of haze-related illnesses.
Its minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the ministry was constantly monitoring the situation for haze-related illnesses such as asthma and upper respiratory tract infection.
Meanwhile, the water levels at four main dams in Selangor and also Kuala Lumpur are above critical level thanks to the water rationing exercises.
According to the Selangor Water Management Authority website, the level at the Selangor River Dam is at 44.84%, while the Langat Dam is at 68.4%, Semenyih Dam at 82.67% and Klang Gates Dam at 52.91%.
Sources say the brief rainfall on Monday only helped a little to increase the water levels.
More than two million people in Petaling Jaya, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur are currently enduring a month of water rationing, which began on Sunday.
In Kuala Lumpur, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd experts have calculated that an interval of two days of water supply followed by two days of rationing is a more efficient way to save water than rationing it on alternate days, said its corporate communications assistant general manager Priscilla Alfred.
She also said that it was not only time-consuming to keep opening and closing the valves but it also caused damage to the device.
“With rationing on alternate days, households located far away from the distribution areas will not have water in the morning and afternoon as supply resumes at 4pm,” she said.
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