KUALA LUMPUR: Only two of the 68 air quality monitoring stations across the country recorded unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API 101 to 200) readings, namely in Sri Aman and Serian, Sarawak as at 4pm on Wednesday (Oct 4).
Department of Environment (DOE) enforcement division director Shafe’ee Yasin said out of the total, six stations recorded good API readings (API 0-50) and 59 stations recorded readings at a moderate level (API 51-100).
"In Sri Aman, the API reading was 142 while Serian recorded 102. The haze conditions today were found to be better than the previous day, no unhealthy API readings were recorded in most areas on the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia and the Klang Valley.
“The government will take action based on the National Haze Action Plan (PTJK) if the API reading worsens. The ministry and the agencies involved will step up prevention efforts on open burning which can cause haze at the local level," he said on the ‘Malaysia Petang Ini’ programme broadcast by Bernama TV on Wednesday.
Commenting on the current occurrence of haze in the country, he said the presence of fine particles ( PM10 and PM2.5) which originated from natural sources and anthropogenic (man-made) activities are seen as contributing factors to this phenomenon.
“Among the measures that DOE has taken is to increase the number of patrols and monitoring areas at risk of open burning, monitoring of burning areas using drones and compound action under Section 29(A) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974,” he said.
API readings of between 0 to 50 are categorised as good, 51 to 100 (moderate), 101 to 200 (unhealthy), 201 to 300 (very unhealthy) while 300 and above are hazardous.
On Tuesday (Oct 3), the Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the National Haze Action Plan (PTJK), which lists the actions of relevant agencies including the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma), has been activated for haze management.
He also said that the cloud seeding operation (OPA) in the country will also be carried out if the API reading exceeds 150 for a period of more than 24 hours.- Bernama