As of Tuesday, September 17, the Department of Environment (DOE) registered hazardous air quality levels in Sarawak state, where Air Pollution Indexes (API) reached 389 in the city of Sri Aman at 18:00 (local time) as hazy conditions (dust, smoke, and vapor) persist in multiple Malaysian states due to large-scale forest and agricultural fires in Sumatra, Indonesia. As of Tuesday morning, 648 schools were ordered to remain closed across the states of Sarawak, Selangor, Putrajaya, and Negeri Sembilan.
The National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) declared that cloud seeding operations will be carried out in Sarawak state on or after Thursday, September 19. On Thursday, September 12, similar operations successfully reduced API readings across the state.
The ASEAN Specialized Meteorological Center (ASMC) has forecasted that hazy conditions can be expected to continue in the region in the coming days with fires in Sumatra and Borneo islands persisting under the prevailing dry weather.
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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