KUCHING, Sept 14: The Air Pollutant Index (API) reading for the city has breached the ‘very unhealthy’ 200 mark again this morning.
Visibility has also reduced to 700 meters.
The API in Kuching was 156 at midnight and gradually rose to 205 by 8am.
Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee secretariat, Major Ismail Mahedin from the Malaysian Civil Defence Force, said other areas in the state also recorded increasing API exceeding unhealthy levels (above 100).
This included Samarahan (174), Sri Aman (137), Sarikei (141), Sibu (137) and Bintulu (104).
The Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) said the haze further deteriorated as the situation in Kalimantan worsened over the past few days.
Haze from hotspots in Kalimantan have also been blown by prevailing winds to parts in Sarawak.
Members of the public, especially senior citizens and children who are suffering from respiratory problems, are strongly urged to wear face masks if they have to go outdoors.
According to the country’s air quality rating, an API reading of zero to 50 is “good,” 51 to 100 “moderate,” 101 to 200 “unhealthy,” 201 to 300 “very unhealthy,” and 301 and above is “hazardous.”
Hourly API readings are available on the Department of Environment (DOE) website at http://apims.doe.gov.my. — DayakDaily