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.
As of the morning (local time) on Friday, September 13, the Department of Environment (DOE) registered 24 locations across the country with unhealthy to very unhealthy air quality. Air Pollution Indexes (API) are particularly high in the states of Penang (113 API), Johor (with API of 153 in Tangkat), Putrajaya (160), Pahang (with API of 179 in Rompin), Negeri Sembilan (123), Kuala Lumpur (160), and Perak (140). Selangor is the most affected state, with an API peaking at 168 in Batu Muda; local authorities declared on Friday that cloud seeding operations will be conducted in locations with an API reading over 200 to mitigate the haze. Around 29 schools in the cities of Klang and Kuala Langat remained closed on Friday.
In the state of Sarawak, the situation was reported as back to normal with moderate air quality on Friday morning.
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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