Haze crisis: More schools nationwide in Malaysia ordered to close



SHAH ALAM: A total of 538 schools in Selangor were ordered to close today due to the haze.

In a statement, the Education Ministry announced the affected schools are in Petaling Perdana, Klang, Kuala Selangor, Gombak, Hulu Langat, Sepang, Sabak Bernam, Kuala Langat and Petaling Jaya.

The Ministry said the Air Pollutant Index (API) readings in Shah Alam, Putrajaya, Petaling Jaya and Klang exceeded 200 from 12 midnight to 6am.

According to the statement, 52 schools in Sepang were closed today, followed by Hulu Langat (61)Kuala Langat (21)Gombak (23)Petaling Perdana (139)Petaling Utama (86)Kuala Selangor (5)Sabak Bernam (18) and Klang (133).

The closure of schools in Selangor affects 584,595 students.

According to the Department of Environment’s website as of 7am today, the API reading of 219 was recorded in Shah Alam; while 202 in Petaling Jaya; Klang (202) and Banting (186).

Meanwhile in Perak, 265 schools in Manjung, Bagan Datuk, Hilir Perak and Central Perak districts have been ordered to close today, bringing the total number of affected schools to 288.

Perak Education director Dr Mohd Suhaimi Mohamed Ali said all the schools will be closed today following the very unhealthy level of API reading.

“The addition of 265 schools today was made based on the API reading at Seri Manjung station which recorded an increase in API reading with 206 at 3am, but it has decreased to 197 as of 7am,” he said when contacted today.

In Sarawak, a total of 337 schools in nine districts have been ordered to close today.

Meanwhile in Penang, a total of 51 schools in the southwest district and 111 schools in northeast district have been ordered to close after the Air Pollutant Index (API) breached the 200 threshold.

State Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the order was issued at 7.20am today by the assistant state Education Department director.

“The district education department is monitoring the situation closely,” he said today.

As of 9am this morning, the API was at 218 in Balik Pulau197 in MindenSeberang Jaya (144), and Seberang Prai (149).

The API reading between 0 and 50 is categorised as good, 51 to 100 (moderate), 101 to 200 (unhealthy), 201 to 300 (very unhealthy) and 300 or above (hazardous). –BERNAMA


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