KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 – The Malaysian Meteorological Department is preparing to conduct cloud seeding if the Air Pollutant Index (API) remains at an unhealthy level, between 101 and 200 after 72 hours, beginning on Saturday evening. Senior Meteorological Officer Dr Mohd Hisham Mohd Anip said the survey which began at 5 pm Saturday found that there were several areas with the recording API readings are exceeding 100.
“If this situation continues for 72 hours or three days in a row cloud seeding operations will be activated following the procedure laid down by National Haze Action Plan. Meanwhile, there was low visibility range of 500 metres in western Sarawak and the interior of Pahang recorded a minimum visibility of a kilometre as at this on Sunday evening,” he said when contacted here Sunday.
Mohd Hisham said within two or three days, rainfall diminished mainly in the haze affected areas and this situation will subside in early October followed by more rainfall nationwide. In the meantime, he said Typhoon Dujuan from the Philippines would cause the wind direction to shift forcing the winds carrying the haze from Sumatra and Kalimantan to eastern China thus clearing the area.
According to the Department of Environment, as at 2pm on Sunday, three areas recorded very unhealthy API readings compared with five areas as at 11am. Shah Alam recorded the highest API reading of 239, followed by Batu Muda, Kuala Lumpur (228), and Port Klang (215). Petaling Jaya and Putrajaya, which recorded very unhealthy API readings in the morning fell to an unhealthy level, namely 196 and 193 respectively.
Other than the two areas, 14 other areas also recorded unhealthy API readings, namely Sri Aman (186), Banting (181), Cheras (176), Kuala Selangor (163), Tanjung Malim (150), Samarahan (145), Seremban (141), Kuching (133), Nilai (131), Sri Manjung (126), Port Dickson (125), Jerantut (123), SK Jalan Pegoh, Ipoh (106) and Bukit Rambai (101).
Air quality with API readings of 0-50 is categorised as good, 51-100 (moderate), 101-200 (unhealthy), 201-300 (very unhealthy) and 301 and above (hazardous). For more information, public may also refer to the website at http://apims.doe.gov.my to know the current API readings.