Haze alert: API in Sri Aman hits ‘hazardous’ level of 365

Sri Aman town blanketed by smog with an API reading of 365 as at 8am (Sept 17).

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KUCHING, Sept 17: The haze in Sri Aman is now under “hazardous” level, as the air quality worsens to 365 in the Air Pollutant Index (API) readings at in 8am today.

The API reading for Sri Aman at 10pm yesterday evening was 201 (very unhealthy) but it shoot up to 311 (hazardous) at 3am.

Kuching have recorded very unhealthy at 219, while the readings in Samarahan (161), Sarikei (148), Sibu (165), Mukah (139), Bintulu (128), Samalaju (113), Miri (125) and ILP Miri (107) recorded as unhealthy.

Only Limbang (79), Kapit (86) and SK Kuala Baram (92) monitoring stations recorded moderate air quality level.

An API reading of between 0 and 50 is categorised as good, between 51 and 100 (moderate), between 101 and 200 (unhealthy), between 201 and 300 (very unhealthy) and more than 301 (dangerous).

The view of the Batang Lupar from the Sri Aman esplanade.

Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee secretariat Major Ismail Mahedin, of the Malaysian Civil Defence Force, said there are no hotspots detected in the state.

In Kalimantan, 455 hotpots have been detected, while Sumatera recorded 450.

Meanwhile, firefighters in Sri Aman are still battling with about 10 acres of fire at Herm Len Pelita Guo oil palm plantation.

The fire, which started on Sept 12, has entered the fourth day and firefighters have about six acres more to fight.

The state Fire and Rescue Department received 32 reports of bush fires in the state as at 7am, bringing the total to 304 cases from Sept 1.

The department said in a statement that 524 acres of land were affected.

On average, Bomba responds to 20 cases of bush fires every day and for today, Sri Aman recorded the highest number at seven cases followed by Kuching and Miri (five each), Serian and Sibu (three each), Limbang, Bintulu and Sarikei (two each) and one cases each at Kapit, Betong and Samarahan. — DayakDaily