PETALING JAYA: The air pollution index (API) briefly spiked to unhealthy levels in several parts of the Klang Valley and Negri Sembilan. But, it was not caused by hotspots in Indonesia.
The Department of Environment (DOE) confirmed that the hazy conditions yesterday was due to local sources of pollution along with a decreased humidity of up to 60%.
“The increase in API readings is because of open burning, vehicle emissions and drier weather due to the effects of El Nino,” a DOE spokesman said yesterday.
Last year, transboundary haze due to the practice of slash-and-burn to clear land for oil palm plantations in Indonesia had resulted in smog over much of Malaysia.
The air quality reached unhealthy levels and resulted in many school closures in several states.
Yesterday, the API readings in Shah Alam and Banting climbed to 151 and 101 at 3pm before falling back to moderate levels (below 100) an hour later.
The API readings in Batu Muda, Kuala Lumpur reached 111 at 5pm and 121 in Nilai during the same period.