Malaysia Air Unhealthy Around Kuala Lumpur as Haze Persists

  • Runways at 3 airports in Malaysia reopen on Saturday
  • Air quality in Singapore improved to a moderate level

Malaysia’s air quality in six districts around Kuala Lumpur remains at “very unhealthy level” because of haze from Indonesian forest fires, according to pollution readings from the Department of Environment.

The country’s air pollutant index in these areas ranges from 201 to 300, according to data from the department’s website. Readings of between zero and 50 indicate good air quality, while those between 51 and 100 are moderate. Levels between 101 and 200 are unhealthy, while 201 and 300 are considered very unhealthy and more than 301 hazardous.

Source: NASA

The runways of 3 airports in Malaysia reopened Sunday after being forced to close due to the deteriorating haze earlier in the day, Malaysia Airports Bhd. said in a tweet. Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang, Sultan Abdul Halim Airport in Alor Setar and Sultan Azlan Shah Airport in Ipoh “are now reopened and all operations are running as usual,” the airport operator said. “However, all passengers travelling today are advised to check with their respective airlines in their flight schedules.”

All schools in Malaysia, apart from Kelantan, will be closed Monday and Tuesday, The Star reported on its website, citing Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

In neighboring Singapore, while the air quality improved to “moderate” level, the pollution index for the next 12 hours may drop to unhealthy level, according to readings from the National Environment Agency. The country’s three-hourly pollution index was at 81 at 11 a.m. local time, the NEA said on its  website.

FINA, which is organizing the Swimming World Cup 2015 in Singapore, cancelled finals on the first day of the races Saturday due to the weather conditions, according to a statement on its website.

Forest fires in Indonesia are on track to become the worst on record, Agence France-Presse reported Friday, citing Robert Field, a Columbia University scientist based at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Haze conditions in Singapore and southeast Sumatra are at levels close to those previously seen in 1997, AFP said.

Indonesia needs to give more serious commmitment in combating haze as the problem is recurring every year, Bernama reported Sunday, citing Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

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