Haze: Rain helps to douse raging Sumatra fires, hotspots reduced to 54

The Star, 27 jun 2013

PETALING JAYA: Rain over central Sumatra the past few days helped to douse the raging fires there, bringing blue skies to most parts of the country.

It was reported that “short bursts” of rain in Riau, Indonesia saw the number of hotspots around Pekanbaru fall from 250 on Tuesday to 54 on Wednesday.

Winds over Dumai, the report added, helped to clear the haze in the region.

The change in weather there has brought rain in several areas in West Malaysia, with storms breaking out on Tuesday in the Klang Valley as well as in Perak, Johor, Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Terengganu.

According to the Department of Environment (DoE) website, much of the country was experiencing moderate air quality levels

On Tuesday, Port Klang suffered some of the country’s worst haze conditions in years, recording 495 on the Air Pollutant Index (API) at 8am.

At the same time today, Port Klang recorded 72 on the API; a drastic increase in air quality levels.

As of 5pm, Petaling Jaya’s API levels were at 74, improving gradually from about 87 at 8am.

The website added that the only “Unhealthy” region in the country was Nilai, recording an API level of 122.

Images on the Meteorological Service of Singapore website today showed that the hotspot situation in Sumatra had eased due to the rain.

A map of the region showed that that a dense haze reaching from Sumatra into Malaysia had dissipated, leaving a moderate haze over central Sumatra and southwest West Malaysia.

Isolated hotspots were also detected in north and south Sumatra, west Kalimantan and West Malaysia.