Current southwest monsoon poses higher haze risk

Fire and heat. — file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Aug 11: The current southwest monsoon (MBD) which causes drier weather and less rainfall until September or early October will increase the number of hot spots and will likely cause haze to occur, warned State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, today.

“Based on the information received from the Asean Specialized Meteorological Center (ASMC) on August 8, there is a significant increase in the number of hotspots in southern and western Kalimantan.

“The expected wind direction from the southwest for the next few days will also affect the air quality of western Sarawak involving parts of Kuching, Samarahan, Sri Aman and Betong,” Uggah told a press conference when giving updates on the state’s Covid-19 situation at the former State Legislative Building.

He pointed out that if no action is taken to control open burning, the risk of haze will be high due to local haze and cross-border haze.

At the same time, ASMC also detected 37 hotspots in Sarawak on August 8.

However, the number of hotspots in Sarawak decreased to one on Aug 9 and 10.

“This situation has caused an increase in the Air Pollution Index (API) in some areas in Sarawak which is likely due to cross-border haze.

“If open burning is not controlled and the number of hot spots increases, this will definitely worsen the air quality. Therefore, we would like to request everyone to avoid open burning activities during this period,” Uggah said. — DayakDaily