Two schools in Betong district close tomorrow due to haze

Burning in neighbouring country is contributing to Kuching City's grim skyline. Photo credit: Michael Liew.

KUCHING, Sept: Students from two schools in Betong are not required to attend classes tomorrow as the Air Pollutant Index (API) reading of the area has breached 200 mark.

Betong district education office in a statement said the closure was based on the API reading at 208 as at 6pm today.

The schools affected are SK Abang Abdul Kadir and Sk St Augustine.

The number of students from SK Abang Abdul Kadir are 456, including those from kindergarten to Primary Six.

However, teachers and school staff are required to be in school.

The decision is in accordance to the Education Ministry’s circular dated Jan 15, 2019, which ordered all schools to close if the API reading in the areas exceeds 200.

According to the circular, all principals and headmasters must inform the District Education Office about the closure.

Meanwhile, the haze situation in capital city and Sri Aman remained ‘very unhealthy’ with Air Pollutant Index (API) readings at 229 and 208 respectively.

As at 6pm, other stations recorded unhealthy readings are Semarahan (193), Sarikei (148), Sibu (137), Mukah (140), Bintulu (141), Samalaju (126), Miri (126) and ILP Miri (122).

Limbang, Kapit and Kuala Baram recorded moderate API readings at 87, 92, and 98 respectively.

Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee secretariat Major Ismail Mahedin from the Malaysian Civil Defence Force said the number of hotspots detected are Kalimantan are 455 and Sumatera, 450 while Sarawak recorded zero hotspots. — DayakDaily