By the looks of it, we’re all going to have a hazy Chinese New Year this weekend!
The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry says that the haze hovering over Klang Valley is fine particles from air pollutants which have failed to disperse due to dry weather conditions.
These air pollutants were released into the atmosphere from various human activities, such as vehicle fumes, land development and construction work.
The statement continues, “There have been no cases of open burning that could jeopardise the air quality in the Klang Valley. The current haze is a weather phenomenon and will not affect the public’s health.”
It was also reported that several areas in the Klang Valley, including Hulu Selangor, Klang, Kuala Selangor, Petaling Jaya and Sepang had not received rainfall for five consecutive days since 22nd January.
The ministry also assured the public that the Department of Environment (DOE) is now keeping a close eye on the Air Pollutant Index (API) readings throughout the country, and had activated its plan to prevent open burning in all states.
It said DOE was also increasing its efforts to prevent peat fires, to ensure that no local sources were causing the worsening air quality and haze.
Additionally, it was reported that there was lower visibility range of less than 10 kilometres in the Klang Valley, especially in Sepang, Petaling Jaya and Subang.
Meanwhile, according to the Meteorological Department (MET Malaysia) report, the peninsula experienced slow wind speeds of 10km per hour and stable atmospheric conditions in most areas for the past few days.
Please do not carry out open burning because of the current dry weather and put out any small fires besides reporting any cases of open burning. The Fire and Rescue Department’s hotline is 999 while DOE’s hotline is 1-800-88-2727.
Here are several things you can do to keep the haze from affecting your health – Try to avoid outdoor activities, close all windows, doors and openings that may allow haze to enter, use an air purifier, drink lots of water, take medication regularly and limit smoking.