As if the haze couldn’t get any worse! While most of us would have already experienced the effects of a smoggy, soot-covered sky, there are some parts of Malaysia that have been more severely affected than others by the recent transboundary haze.
According to a report by The New Straits Times, Rompin in Pahang has been struck by the worst Air Pollution Index (API) readings since the haze season started, with numbers climbing up to 224 on the scale yesterday (11th September 2019). To put that into perspective, index numbers between 201-300 is considered as being ‘very unhealthy’. Oh no!
However, readings dropped to 201 in the same city at around 9pm (11th September 2019). City officials have said that if the air quality levels continue to remain at very unhealthy levels, schools will be closed to protect students from the worsening weather conditions.
Other parts of Malaysia continue to record ‘unhealthy’ air pollution levels, such as Johan Setia (198) followed by Shah Alam (152), Petaling Jaya (150), Klang (145), Banting (138) and Kuala Selangor (137). Kuala Lumpur has recorded an API score of 147 in Cheras, while Putrajaya stands at 160. Meanwhile, Sri Aman and Kuching in Sarawak recorded API scores of 144 and 118 respectively.
This follows a recent ban issued on any open burning activities by the Department of Environment, which excludes cremations, religious events, grilling/barbecues and flaring. Anybody caught committing incidents of open burning may be fined up to RM500,000, face jail time of up to 5 years, or both.
For those of you living in areas severely hit by the haze, do make sure to head to the local pharmacist to buy a mask and avoid heading outdoors until conditions improve!