API readings across Sarawak moderately healthy, says Len Talif

Firefighters working to contain peat fires in Kuala Baram.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Aug 6: All major cities and towns in Sarawak recorded moderate air pollutant index (API) readings as of 7pm, today.

Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh said the readings were below 70, which were considered moderately healthy.

“The API reading for Kuching as for now (7pm) is 67 and all major towns in Sarawak are still below 100,” he told DayakDaily when contacted.

“The highest API reading is recorded at Industrial Training Institute (ILP) Miri at 87 due to the peat burning in Baram area,” he added.

Len Talif said there were less than five hotspots detected in Sarawak, while over 35 hotspots have been sighted in Kalimantan especially in West Kalimantan.

“The situation in Kalimantan is the main source of haze occurence in southern and central part of Sarawak due to the wind direction,” he said.

He hoped this will not affect Sarawak in the week ahead and assured that the relevant departments are monitoring the situation in Kalimantan closely.

“We have also ceased the issuance of open burning permits in view of the current situation across the border with Indonesia,” he said.

API of 0-50 indicates good air quality; 51-100 is considered moderate, 101-200 unhealthy, 201-300 very unhealthy and above 300 hazardous.

The public can check the APIMS site http://apims.doe.gov.my/public_v2/home.html for regional haze situation updates from time to time. — DayakDaily