KUALA LUMPUR: Seventeen areas nationwide recorded unhealthy Air Pollutant Index readings as of 8am today.
The latest readings on Department of Environment (DOE) portal showed Seremban and Tawau recorded highest readings of 181 and 164 respectively.
This was followed by Banting (154), Bandaraya Melaka (151), Bukit Rambai (150), Port Dickson (150), Nilai (148), Batu Muda (145), Port Klang and Putrajaya (both at 136), Shah Alam (132), Muar (130), Petaling Jaya (125), Cheras,Kuala Lumpur (120), Larkin Lama (107), Pasir Gudang (105) and Kemaman (102).
The latest readings also showed a total of 27 areas with moderate air quality while 8 areas recorded good air quality.
Yesterday, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid in his Facebook posting said all schools in Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Putrajaya, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Tawau, Kuching and Samarahan have been ordered to close due to the worsening haze situation.
Mahdzir added the ministry made the decision following yesterday’s API readings which had increased to unhealthy level.
Meanwhile in Sabah, the haze had affected over 100,000 students due to the closure of schools in four districts in the east coast.
Tawau was the worst hit with 48,630 students from 78 schools, followed by Lahad Datu with 28,451 from 51 schools, Semporna with 26,373 from 51 schools and Kunak with 8,964 from 18 schools.
Sabah Education director Datuk Jame Alip said a total of 9,023 teachers are also affected but pointed out those who chose to do work at the schools are allowed to do so.
An API of between 0 and 50 is good, 51 to 100 (moderate), 101 to 200 (unhealthy), 201 to 300 (very unhealthy) and 301 and above (dangerous).
The public can refer to the apims.doe.gov.my portal for the latest API readings.