Authorities on high alert for haze and fire

KUALA LUMPUR: The air quality in several districts in Kelantan, Johor and here was at an unhealthy level, according to Air Pollutant Index (API) readings.

As at 4pm yesterday, the API reading in Segamat of Johor was 152, Cheras in Kuala Lumpur recorded a reading of 106, while Kota Baru and Tanah Merah in Kelantan were at 107 and 104 respectively.

An API of between 101 and 200 indicates unhealthy air quality.

Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa posted a video on TikTok showing the hazy condition in Sekijang, where visibility was less than 200m.

“For the past few days, we have heard news that the country has been affected by the haze. One of the areas that has been badly affected is my constituency, Sekijang, in Segamat,” she said.

She said the town recorded an unhealthy API reading of between 145 and 150 yesterday.

The Sekijang MP said the haze consists of smoke and dust particles.

“Haze is not good for the health and can cause eye inflammation, itchy nose, sore throat, cough, flu and itchy skin,” she said, adding that in the long term, this could lead to cardiovascular diseases.

Dr Zaliha advised people, especially children with asthma, to stay home on hazy days.

In KLANG, the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry said it is monitoring the hot spell that is expected to affect the country’s agriculture sector.

Its minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu said agricultural stock is still under control and the ministry would ensure there is adequate supply.

He said an emergency plan has been drawn up in the event of a food supply shortage due to the current hot weather.

“We will import if the need arises, and we have already listed the source countries if we have to do it urgently,” he told Bernama after launching the Agro Madani Sales Programme in Kampung Johan Setia yesterday.

In KUCHING, the state disaster management committee is expected to meet soon on the haze, said Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, also the committee chairman.

“The landas (monsoon) season is over now and since last week, we have been experiencing hot and dry weather. So, we want to alert all divisional disaster management committees to keep a close watch on hotspots and all potential ones.

“They must always be on their toes ... make the necessary preparations to deal with fires and other related problems,” he said in a statement, Bernama reported.

He also urged the public and the plantation industry not to carry out any open burning.

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heatwave , haze


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