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Haze to return briefly due to change in wind direction

KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 (Bernama) -- The haze is expected to return for two or three days following a change in the wind direction.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department said in a statement that the pattern of wind direction was expected to change in the next two to three days where a north-westerly wind with a moderate speed would occur in the northern part of the peninsula while light and variable wind would blow in the central and southern parts of the peninsula.

"The wind condition is expected to bring rain especially in the interior parts of the states in Peninsular Malaysia," the statement said.

Malaysia is still experiencing the south-west monsoon which is expected to continue until September.

The rise in the number of hot spots and a rather dry weather in the past two days had resulted in several areas in the west coast states of Peninsular Malaysia experiencing the haze especially in the coastal areas of Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor.

Three areas namely Bukit Rambai, Melaka City and Banting registered unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API) readings at 122, 112 and 105 respectively until 9am.

According to the Department of Environment in its website, the API at Bukit Rambai and Melaka City had increased to 117 and 104 respectively compared to the readings at 6am.

Several areas in the peninsula showed moderate readings including Muar (87), Nilai (80), Port Dickson (88), Seremban (74) and Port Klang (80).

The air quality levels in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan were still encouraging.

An API reading of between 0 and 50 is categorised as good, 51 to 100 (moderate), 101 to 200 (unhealthy), 201 to 300 (very unhealthy) and 300 and above (dangerous).

Last month, Malaysia experienced a rather severe haze to the extent that some areas recorded a dangerous level of air pollution and schools had to be closed temporarily.

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