Hazy conditions (dust, smoke, and vapor) have reduced visibility and have created health hazards in multiple Malaysian states due to large-scale forest and agricultural fires in Sumatra, Indonesia. The Department of Environment (DOE) recorded an unhealthy Air Pollution Index (API) in the states of Pahang (194 API), Negeri Sembilan (145), Johor (111), Putrajaya (139), Selangor (140), and Sarawak, where API peaked at 241 in the state capital of Kuching on the afternoon (local time) of Monday, September 9. In Kuching, 409 schools have been ordered to remain closed on Tuesday, September 10. In Kuala Lumpur, an API of 157 was recorded, making it the highest API reading in the capital since 2015.
According to the Malaysian Meteorological department (MetMalaysia), the situation is forecast to persist through the end of the monsoon period expected in late September.
Malaysia frequently experiences air pollution (haze) caused by forest fires in Indonesia between June to October.
An API reading of 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 moderate, and 101-200 unhealthy.
Individuals present in Malaysia are advised to monitor Air Pollutant Index Management System (APIMS) updates and health advisories issued by the Malaysian Department of Environment. Seek medical assistance if needed and anticipate possible transportation disruptions.
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