KUCHING, Sept 22: The rain this morning has helped to improve air quality in Kuching but Air Pollutant Index (API) in Sri Aman still stays at very unhealthy level as at 12 noon.
As at 12 noon, Kuching recorded an API reading of 126, while Sri Aman, 202.
Other places in Sarawak that are experiencing unhealthy air quality include Samarahan (134), Sarikei (102) and Miri (106).
The rest of Sarawak recorded moderate healthy air quality with API below 100.
Hazardous levels are readings above 300, while 201-300 is considered very unhealthy; 101-200 is unhealthy; 51-100 is moderate and everything below 50 is good.
The current trans-boundary heavy smog smothering Sarawakians has been caused by burning in Kalimantan.
Several forests, peatland and bush fires by local farmers, individuals and companies who did open burning activities also contributed to it.
This is shown by the seven hot spots that are detected in Sarawak where three are in Sri Aman and four in Miri. While in Kalimantan, there are 332 and in Sumatera, 676 hot spots detected.
Meanwhile, Fire and Rescue Department Malaysia (Bomba) Sarawak and the military are still making great effort in extinguishing peatland fire in areas near Kampung STC, Sri Aman by water bombing using helicopter and Bombardier CL-415.
Bomba Sarawak assistant director of operation Tiong Ling Hii who oversees the operation disclosed in a statement that based on their assessment from last night, there is still 12 acres of peatland under fire.
Apart from attacking the fire from the air, Tiong said eight excavators are continuing the groundwork by creating fire breaker.
Apart from extinguishing peat fire at Kampung STC, Bomba and the military will also be making attempts to put out wildfire in Kelauh area, using water bombing and air bombardier.
The aircraft has been drawing water from Sungai Lingga. — DayakDaily