Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Air quality over Penang at moderate level

GEORGE TOWN: After touching the unhealthy level, the air quality in Penang has improved and is now hovering just below the mark in one area and lower in other parts.

According to the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre's website, 310 hotspots were detected in Sumatra at 3.55pm yesterday, almost double the 163 spotted on Sunday.

At 7am yesterday, the Air Pollutant Index (API) in Seberang Jaya 2 was 101, the only area out of the 51 stations to record an unhealthy API.

However, it dropped to 100 at 11am and 98 at 5pm. It had risen from Sunday when it was a steady 96.

The API at Universiti Sains Malaysia was 84 at 7am and 11am yesterday before going down to 81 at 5pm. In Prai, it was 84 at 7am and 11am before dropping to 83 at 5pm.

Moderate API readings with slight improvements in air quality were recorded in other areas in the northern states, including Alor Setar in Kedah and Kangar in Perlis, which recorded unhealthy levels yesterday.

Alor Setar recorded API of 82 at 7am, 76 at 11am and 74 at 5pm yesterday compared to 104, 108 and 98 respectively on Sunday.

In Kangar, the API was 82 at 7am, 73 at 11am and not recorded at 5pm yesterday, compared to 97, 103 and 101 on Sunday.

A good API reading is 0-50, moderate 51-100, unhealthy 101-200, very unhealthy 201-299, and hazardous 300 and above.

According to the Meteorological Department, visibility in Bayan Lepas was 3.5km at 8am and 9am before improving to 4km at 10am.

The department's weather forecast centre director Muhammad Helmi Abdullah said the weak El Nino phenomenon over the Pacific Ocean, expected between now and September, would have minimal impact on rainfall.

Penang Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh cautioned against open burning and advised the public to drink more water to keep themselves hydrated.


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