Hazy skies return to Kuching area, Serian tops API readings nationwide

Posted on 16 Aug 2023
Source of News: Borneo Post


KUCHING (Aug 15): Hazy skies were back in Kuching and its surrounding areas today despite heavy rain and strong winds the previous evening.

As of 1pm today, the IPD Serian Air Pollutant Index (API) monitoring station reading was 91, the highest in the country.

Other readings released on the Air Pollutant Index Management System (APIMS) website by the Department of Environment (DOE) showed Kuching had the second highest API reading of 87, followed by 84 in Sri Aman.

An API reading of 51 to 100 is considered as moderate, but an API reading of 101 to 200 is categorised unhealthy.

Samarahan recorded an API reading of 78 at 1pm, while other API stations recorded readings of between of 45 in Limbang and 65 in Bintulu.

Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) Sarawak director Khairul Najib Ibrahim said the department expects more rain in the central part of Sarawak in the next few days.

“Meanwhile, the western part of Sarawak (Kuching, Serian, Samarahan, Sri Aman, Betong, and Sarikei) is expected to experience isolated rains and thunderstorms in the afternoons.

“In terms of wind movement, the haze originating from Kalimantan is not expected to have a significant impact on the airspace of Western Sarawak,” he said when contacted.

The Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) website showed over 50 hotpots detected in Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia on Aug 14.

More than 150 hotspots were detected in the region on Aug 12.

ASMC in its Weather and Haze Outlook on Aug 14 said under the persistent dry conditions, the hotspot and haze situation may escalate over the fire-prone areas in Kalimantan and southern Sumatra.

“There also remains a risk of transboundary haze occurrence particularly over the bordering regions of Kalimantan and Sarawak,” it said.

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