Friday, July 07, 2006

On alert for haze again

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: Haze caused by smoke from 400 hotspots in Indonesia and 27 locally on Wednesday has affected visibility in the west coast of the peninsula.
The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry is on the alert for another round of haze.
Deputy Minister Datuk S. Sothinathan said the National Security Bureau of the National Disaster Council would convene a meeting today to discuss contingency plans in the event of the situation worsening.
He said that while the air quality around the country was good to moderate, the situation was still “worrying” as the country was going into a dry spell for the next couple of months.
In the past few days, the southerly and south-westerly winds had been blowing smoke from Indonesian forest fires to the northern parts of the country.
The hotspots in the peninsula were in Pahang (14), Selangor (seven), Johor (three), Perak (two) and Negri Sembilan (one). In Sarawak, seven hotspots have been detected.
The Air Pollutant Index at 51 stations throughout the country at 11am yesterday showed 22 areas recording good levels and 25 moderate levels.
Readings of between 0 and 50 are categorised as good, 51 to 100 as moderate, 101 to 200 as unhealthy, and 201 to 300 as very unhealthy and hazardous.
In Butterworth, visibility of 800m range at 8am improved to over 10km by 4pm.
Bayan Lepas also recorded lower visibility levels at 5km in the morning and at 8km in the evening.
Open burning can be reported to the DOE at 1-800-88-2727.

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