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Cloud-seeding operations to be implemented from tomorrow

KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 (Bernama) -- Starting tomorrow, the Meteorological Department will carry out cloud-seeding operations to overcome the haze and open burning problems.

Its director-general, Datuk Che Gayah Ismail, said the operations would be implemented in areas with the most suitable clouds in Kedah, Selangor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Johor.

"So far, we only managed to carry out two cloud-seeding operations, namely on March 3 and 4.

"We were supposed to carry out more operations today, but the Royal Malaysian Air Forces (TUDM) aircrafts we needed were being used in the search and rescue operation to find the missing MAS flight MH370," she told Bernama when contacted here today.

Che Gayah said within last 24 hours, 545 small fire incidents were reported nationwide, with the highest number being reported in Johor (95), followed by Kedah (74), Perak (68), Selangor (67), Melaka (51) and Penang (44).

She also said the number of hotspots had steeply increased to 110 yesterday from only 18 previously.

Meanwhile, Port Klang Authority assistant general manager (Operations and Regulatory) Capt K. Subramaniam, when contacted, said operations in the area were running smoothly, despite a little hiccup in the morning.

"The visibility level has improved to more than one nautical mile in the afternoon from only 0.5 nautical mile this morning," he said, adding that no ship or small boats were allowed to move in the port area if the visibility was less than one nautical mile.

According to the Department of Environment's statement, the Air Pollutant Index (API) issued by the Department of Environment as at 5 pm today revealed that five areas recorded unhealthy API readings, with the highest reading recorded in Port Klang (137), followed by Banting (118), Nilai (107), Putrajaya (106) and Seremban (102).

Thirty-one areas recorded moderate API readings, including Kuala Selangor (95), Ipoh (94), Bukit Rambai (93), Port Dickson (92), Shah Alam (87) and Bandaraya Melaka (87), while 16 other areas recorded good API readings, including Kota Tinggi (33), Kuching (33), Bintulu (34) and Kuala Terengganu (35).

An API reading of between zero and 50 indicates good air quality; 51 and 100, moderate; 101 to 200, unhealthy; 201 to 300, very unhealthy, and more than 301, hazardous.


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