Haze: All schools in Klang District to close Friday

The Star, 13 Mar 2014

KLANG: All schools in the district have been ordered to close on Friday after Port Klang reached a very unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API) reading.

Selangor education director Datuk Mahmud Karim issued this directive after the API reading in Port Klang showed 233 at 5pm on Thursday.

“The schools will be closed on Friday and will be reopen depending on the API readings,” he said.

While Port Klang was the only location that recorded a very unhealthy reading, other areas, which recorded unhealthy readings as of 5pm were Banting (189), Kuala Selangor (179), Petaling Jaya (159), Putrajaya (168), Batu Muda, Kuala Lumpur (163) and Nilai (172).

Selangor exco in charge of environment Elizabeth Wong said the state government would start distributing the first batch of 180,000 single-use face masks on Friday.

She said these face masks woulds be available at all state assemblyman’s offices.

“Since January this year, the Fire and Rescue Services Department (JBPM) has been working round-the-clock to put out fires with the help of the local councils and district offices.

“However, they are overwhelmed by an unprecedented number of cases. As such, I urge local residents and volunteer organisations to also help in putting out the small fires in their neighbourhoods,” she said in a statement.

Wong said the haze was due to a combination of transboundary and local sources.

“Multiple agencies in Selangor including local councils, district offices and Forestry departments are assisting JBPM to put out the fires,” she said, adding that the ban on open burning remained.

She said the state environment department had initiated 12 investigation papers, with the intention of prosecuting the culprits involved in open burning on private lots.