KUCHING: Air quality in western Sarawak has deteriorated to very unhealthy levels again after a brief respite.
The air pollutant index (API) in two areas rose above 200 on Saturday (Sept 14) morning, with Kuching at 225 and Samarahan at 202 at 11am.
Five other stations in the state recorded unhealthy API levels between 108 and 149.
An API reading of 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 moderate, 101-200 unhealthy, 201-300 very unhealthy and 300 onwards hazardous.
The state disaster management committee said 14 hotspots were detected in Sarawak, comprising five in Kuching, three each in Sibu and Kapit, two in Limbang and one in Miri.
It also reported that there were 1,307 hotspots in neighbouring Kalimantan, Indonesia.
The Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) said persistent hotspots in Kalimantan continued to emit moderate to dense smoke haze, shrouding many parts of the province.
"Some of the smoke haze has been blown by the prevailing winds to western Sarawak and the adjacent South China Sea area.
"For the next few days, dry conditions are forecast to persist in central and southern Sumatra and most parts of Kalimantan.
"Hazy conditions in some parts of the region can be expected to continue," it said in a situation update.