KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 — Malaysia’s air pollution is the fourth worst in the world as of 4pm today, with Sri Aman, Sarawak, recording a hazardous air quality index (AQI) reading at 397 amid a haze, according to a global site.
The World Air Quality Index team, which claims to track real-time air quality in over 88 countries, ranked Mexico’s air pollution as the worst globally, with its city Gomez Palacio’s AQI at 882, followed by China’s Hotan at 491, and Indonesia’s Simpang at 435.
According to the site, four areas in Malaysia recorded “very unhealthy” AQI at 4pm: Lumut (222), Kuching (212), Port Dickson (206), and Kampung Baharu Nilai (204).
Sixteen stations in Malaysia showed “unhealthy” AQI: Klang (191), Bukit Rambai (186), Petaling Jaya (183), Putrajaya (182), Seremban (176), Sibu (173), Alor Gajah (173), Kuala Selangor (172), Shah Alam (169), Johor Baru (168), Skudai (167), Kampung Pasir Gudang Baru (161), Batu Berendam (160), Kuala Lumpur (156), Sarikei (153), and Segamat (152).
Areas with air quality deemed “unhealthy for sensitive groups were Mentekab (135), Bintulu (125), Tangkak (124), Miri (123), Kuantan (117), Ipoh (112), Jerantut (112), Simpang Empat (110), and Batu Pahat (106).
According to the World Air Quality Index site, AQI is based on measurement of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions.
According to the Education Ministry, 636 government schools in Sarawak, Selangor, Putrajaya, and Negri Sembilan were closed today because of local air pollutant index (API) readings exceeding 200, or “very unhealthy”. Twelve private schools in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and Negri Sembilan were also shuttered.
Malaysia and Indonesia have traded blame over the current haze crisis, with the latter accusing four Malaysian companies of causing some of the forest fires in their palm oil plantations in Indonesia.