Malaysia: Air quality in Port Klang worsens to unhealthy level

New Straits Times 26 Jul 14;

KUALA LUMPUR: The air quality in Port Klang was at an unhealthy level at noon today, raising to two the number of places with such air quality.

Sibu in Sarawak had registered an unhealthy level of air quality earlier in the day, according to the Department of Environment (DoE).

The DoE portal recorded an Air Pollutant Index (API) of 102 for Port Klang. It had an API reading of 108 for Sibu at noon, up from 103 at 7 am.

Thirty-nine other places in the country had air quality at the moderate level, according to the portal.

An API reading of between zero and 50 indicates good air quality; between 51 and 100, moderate; between 101 and 200, unhealthy; between 201 and 300, very unhealthy and over 301, hazardous.

Members of the public can refer to the DOE portal at to find out the API reading for their areas. - BERNAMA

Strong winds, rough seas warning, low visibility warning
New Straits Times 26 Jul 14;

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Meteorological Department has issued a strong winds and rough seas warning in four areas - Phuket, Reef North, Layang-Layang and Palawan.

The department in a statement said northwesterly winds with speeds from 40-50km/hr and waves up to 3.5 metres were forecast to persist in the four areas till Thursday.

The situation is dangerous to small boats, recreational activities and water sports, the statement said.

Meanwhile, the department also warned of low visibility in the northern Melaka Strait and Sarawak (Kuching, Rejang dan Mukah) due to the current haze and that the situation was expected to continue till Thurday.

This was also dangerous for vessels not equipped with navigational aids, it said. - BERNAMA

Water level at dam drops to new low
The Star 26 Jul 14;

SHAH ALAM: The water capacity at the Sungai Selangor dam has dropped to a new low and is dipping to the critical level. The state government, however, is remaining adamant about not calling for another rationing exercise.

State exco man in charge of infrastructure and public amenities Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi is insisting that there is enough water in disused ponds in Bestari Jaya to keep the state’s water supply going.

He said the measures taken were good enough to ensure continuous supply during the festive season.

“Although water levels at all seven dams in the state dipped between 0.8% and 3% from July 18 to Thursday, the state currently has 24 pumps that are operating all the time while another four more pumps are yet to be installed,” he said, adding that this step would ensure continuous water supply before and after the Raya holidays.

He said the El Nino situation was a moderate one and would last until September while rainfall was expected in October.

In a statement issued yesterday, Dr Ahmad Yunus also said that the National Security Council had agreed to use the assets of the Malaysian Air Force to conduct cloud seeding.

Klang MP Charles Santiago, however, remained critical of the moves, saying that they were simply not enough to stop water levels at the dams from dropping.

“The state needs to educate the public about conserving water.

“They need to know how to consume water sparingly.

“If people do not practise conservation, it is going to be difficult to stop water levels from dropping beneath the critical mark of 30%,” Santiago said.

On pumping water from the ponds, he said the state would need to show a public reading every time water was pumped into the Sungai Selangor dam.

“This is because the water levels at these ponds are also low. When this happens, heavy metal residue can be found in the water,” he said.

Of the seven dams in the state, Sungai Tinggi recorded the biggest drop, falling from 53.02% on July 18 to 50.02% on Thursday.

The Sungai Selangor dam – which supplies water to 60% of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor – fell to 36.18% on Thursday.

Rationing was imposed in the Klang Valley on March 2 – and lifted on May 1 – after the water level dipped below 40%. The critical level for the dam is 30%.

Meanwhile, industry sources questioned the Selangor state government’s decision in lifting the rationing exercise quickly.

Sources said the lifting was a “mistake” as the water levels at the dams were still unstable.

“Looking at the trend, it is usual for us to experience problems in water supply but due to El Nino, the drop may be more drastic.

“Even if it rains, it has to be every day and at the water catchment areas or else it is pointless,” said one source.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department has already warned that there would be hot and dry days over the next two months.