KOTA KINABALU: The situation in the Beaufort area of south western Sabah improved overnight but remains unhealthy.
Department of Environment (Sabah) assistant director Norazizi Adinan said that the Air Pollutant Index was at 161 as of 8am Monday dropping from the "very unhealthy"’ levels of 300 recorded late Sunday.
"The API peaked to 300 overnight but we are seeing a drop now,’’ he told The Star Online.
Norazizi said fires across the Klias peninsular, Bongowan, Membakut and parts of Papar as well as a simmering peat fire in the Binsuluk Forest Reserve area might be triggering the heavy haze conditions.
The Beaufort area about 100kms from Kota Kinabalu does not have a permanent station to monitor air quality levels.
Acording to Norazizi, they had put up a mobile station (Portable Particulate Matter Monitoring System) at SMK Membakut 2 about three days ago to monitor the worsening haze situation in the area.
Late Sunday, Sabah Education Department ordered 77 primary and secondary schools in Beaufort, Kuala Penyu and Papar involving some 20,000 students to remain close till Tuesday and would reviewed if there was need for further closure.
Hazy conditions also hit the state capital and its surrounding areas here with meteorologists disclosing that visibility was 1 km in Kota Kinabalu as of 8am while visibility for the rest of the state including Labuan was above 10kms.
API readings for Kota Kinabalu was at a moderate 60 while interior Keningau was at 54 at 8am Monday.
A spokesman for the Kota Kinabalu International Airport there was no flight disruptions due the dropping visibility.
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