Malaysia: Air quality moderate in most parts of country

The Star 11 Jul 11;

PETALING JAYA: Close to three-quarters of the country recorded moderate air quality yesterday.

A total of 37 areas monitored by the Department of Environment recorded an Air Pollutant Index (API) of between 51 and 100 as of 11am. The figure dropped slightly to 33 areas six hours later.

Sixteen areas enjoyed good air quality with an API below 50.

Among the places with the best air quality were Langkawi, Kedah (34); Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang (35) and Miri, Sarawak (35).

Areas with the poorest air quality were Bukit Rambai, Malacca (76); Nilai, Negri Sembilan (74); Port Klang, Selangor (73); Tanah Merah, Kelantan (72); Kuala Terengganu (72) and Kemaman, Terengganu (71).

An area’s air quality reaches an unhealthy level when its API hits 101, a very unhealthy level at 201 and hazardous when it exceeds 301.

Last week, the haze affected the air quality, which almost reached an unhealthy level in certain areas in Penang.

The API in Seberang Jaya hit 96 on Thursday, just short of the unhealthy level of 101, compared with 84 on Tuesday.

The Meterological Department said then that visibility levels in the state were between 5km and 7km.

Haze is back
Loh Foon Fong and Florence A Samy The Star 11 Jul 11;

PETALING JAYA: Major parts of the country were enveloped by haze Monday due to fires in Sumatra and Borneo.

The Meteorological Department website said hazy weather was recorded at 35 out of 40 of its stations with visibility dipping in some areas in the country.

Petaling Jaya recorded a poor visibility level of 2.5km as of 4pm Monday while Sepang and Kuantan had a visibility of 1.5km and 4km respectively.

Normal visibility levels should be more than 10km.

Satellite images showed 217 hotpots in Sumatra Sunday and over 300 for Borneo and 13 for peninsula as of 6am Monday.

The Department of Environment's Air Pollutant Index recorded moderate air quality readings for 36 areas or 73% while the remaining were still within the healthy API reading of between 0 to 50 as of 11am Monday.

The Department would issue another reading at its website later this evening.