By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, Sept 21: The haze condition clouding several areas in Sarawak has improved significantly after the first round of cloud seeding operations yesterday.
Sarawak Disaster Management Committee secretariat chief, Major Ismail Mahedin, said as at 8am today, the air pollutant index (API) readings under the unhealthy level are Sri Aman (170), Kuching (179), Samarahan (153), Sarikei (136), Sibu (127), Mukah (109), Bintulu (105) and Samalaju (103).
Yesterday, the API for Sri Aman has reached a hazardous reading of 417, which became the highest in Sarawak, as well as the whole nation.
This was followed by Kuching with an API of 246, Sarikei (228) and Samarahan (219), where the air quality was at very unhealthy level.
The cloud seeding was conducted by the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) together with the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), Kuching Water Board (KWB), Department of Works, Civil Defence Force (APM) and the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA).
The Hercules C-130 aircraft belonging to RMAF carried a total of 4,800 litres of salt and water solution before releasing it to the clouds at 7,000 feet at Kuching, Samarahan, Serian, Sri Aman, Betong, Saratok, Sarikei, Kanowit, Mukah and Lundu yesterday afternoon.
Sarawak is the only region in Malaysia that is under serious haze attack, prompting Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas to summon all relevant agencies to come together to tackle the haze in the state.
At the same time, Uggah, who is also the State Disaster Management Committee chairman, ordered relevant agencies to help firefighters in the on going forest, peat and bush fires. — DayakDaily