Haze worsens in Penang

GEORGE TOWN: The haze has worsened in Penang, with Seberang Jaya the only place in the country recording unhealthy air quality.

The Air Pollutant Index (API) reading in Seberang Jaya reached 105 as at 5pm yesterday from 101 earlier in the day. Tuesday's reading was 86.

The API readings for the rest of the country yesterday were below 100.

In George Town, the API increased to 80 at 5pm yesterday from 78 at 7am. The level was 75 on Tuesday.

Readings in Prai increased to 90 at 5pm from 87 at 7am yesterday and less than 80 on Tuesday.

A Department of Environment (DOE) officer said the worsening haze in Penang was due to the change of wind direction which blew the haze northwards from the south.

There was also poor visibility in Penang yesterday. A check with the Malaysian Meteorological Department showed that visibility on the Penang mainland was only 2km from 8am to 4pm before it improved to 3km at 5pm.

Visibility at Bayan Lepas remained between 3km and 4km from 8am to 5pm.

The total number of hotspots in Sumatra increased to 341 places as recorded by the NOAA-18 satellite as at 3.43pm yesterday, compared to 267 hotspots on Tuesday.

The people are urged to report bush fires and open burning to the Fire and Rescue Department at 999 or DOE at 1-800-88- 2727.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said that the state government would cancel all its outdoor events for the next few days.

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