Haze alert: ‘Very unhealthy’ API in Kuching and 5 other areas

View from the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) complex this morning (Sept 19).

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By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Sept 19: Air quality continues to worsen amid the haze in Sarawak with six areas recording “very unhealthy” Air Pollutant Index (API) readings of above 200 this morning.

According to data from the MyIPU app, the six areas are Kuching (273), Samarahan (230), Sibu (239), Sarikei (230), Sri Aman (206) and Mukah (201).

Other areas with unhealthy air quality included Bintulu (150), Samalaju (133), ILP Miri (108) and Miri (112).

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee secretariat chief, Major Ismail Mahedin, said there are 17 hotspots in Sarawak.

The Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) building in Petra Jaya blanketed by the thick haze.

Meanwhile, the number of schools closure also jumped to almost triple the amount today, 890, as compared to yesterday with only 337 schools.

The state Education Department, in a statement, said 254,499 students had to miss their classes, while more schools could be expected to close in the coming days as the API readings expected to rise.

Today’s closure involved 765 primary schools and 125 secondary schools in 17 areas namely Bau, Betong, Daro, Julau, Kanowit, Kuching, Lubok Antu, Lundu, Padawan, Meradong, Samarahan, Saratok, Sarikei, Serian, Sibu, Simunjan and Sri Aman.

The National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA), which monitors the haze situation in the country, said cloud seeding will be carried out in Sarawak subject to weather and cloud conditions.

A state of haze emergency will be declared when the API exceeds 500, it added. — DayakDaily