PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): The cloud-seeding operation in Sri Aman, Sarawak, on Friday (Sept 20) successfully reduced the Air Pollutant Index (API) readings from a hazardous level of over 400 to an unhealthy air quality at 125 as of 10am Saturday (Sept 21).
The Department of Environment (DOE) in a statement here said firefighting teams are in the midst of battling the forest fires in Kampung STC Sri Aman Village, Jalan Tisak Betong and Jalan Ketajau which have affected air quality in Sri Aman.
The blaze in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia were still causing the trans-boundary haze and had contributed to the rise in API readings along the west coast and south of Peninsular Malaysia, western Sarawak as well as around Tawau and Sandakan, Sabah.
According to an Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) report on Friday, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA-20) satellite images detected 676 hotspots in Sumatra, 332 in Kalimantan, and 20 in Malaysia, namely with nine in the peninsula, Sarawak (seven) and Sabah (four).
Meanwhile, the Regional Hazard Map released by ASMC showed hotspots in Central and South Sumatra, Riau and Jambi continued to produce moderate to thick haze and impacting almost the entire Peninsular Malaysia.
Hotspots were found in the southern, eastern, western and central parts of Kalimantan, which continue to worsen the haze in Sarawak, it said.
As at 8pm Saturday, unhealthy API readings were reported in Kuching (154), Samarahan (135), Sarikei (107), Sri Aman (110).
In Selangor, areas recording an API reading of more than 100 were Johan Setia Klang (160), Kuala Selangor (110), Petaling Jaya (145), Shah Alam (132), Banting (114) and Klang (119).
Three areas in Kuala Lumpur, Batu Muda (162) and Cheras (151) were in the same category.
Also in the unhealthy category were Putrajaya at 136 as well as Segamat (130) and Tangkak (101) in Johor recorded API readings of 131 and 102. Two areas in Negeri Sembilan namely Nilai (141) and Seremban (127) remained unhealthy.
In Pahang, Temerloh (102) and Jerantut (111) were also at unhealthy levels, as was Balik Pulau in Penang (104).
An API reading of between 0 and 50 is categorised as good, 51-100 (moderate), 101 to 200 (unhealthy), 201 to 300 (very unhealthy) and above 300 (hazardous). – Bernama