Hot, dry weather to last until September - Palanivel

PUTRAJAYA, July 29 (Bernama) -- The hot and dry weather, which hit the country since May following the south-west monsoon, is expected to last until September, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister, Datuk Seri G. Palanivel.

In a statement today, Palanivel said the hot and dry weather and the El Nino impact would result in open fires.

Palanivel said satellite images by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed that there were 133 hotspots in Sumatra and 23 in Kalimantan in Indonesia and 11 locally.

"The local hotspots comprise four in Sarawak, two each in Pahang and Kelantan and one each in Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Johor," he said.

He said the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre report showed that there were moderate smoke haze from burning areas in Riau district, Kalimantan Barat district, west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and southern Sarawak.

He said nine areas recorded unhealthy air quality based on the Air Pollutant Index (API) at 7 am today.

They were Port Klang (135), Petaling Jaya (102), Banting (137), Batu Muda, Kuala Lumpur (123), Cheras (121), Putrajaya (124), Sibu (191), Samarahan (126) and Sri Aman, Sarawak (114).

Palanivel said 20 areas recorded average air quality and 23 at good level.

Based on IPI, a reading of between is 0 and 50 (good); 51-100 (average); 101-200 (unhealthy); 201-300 (very unhealthy) and 300 and above dangerous.

He said opening burning was forbidden in Negeri Sembilan, Malacca, Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya since March.

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