Kuching Overtakes Jakarta And Singapore As The Most Polluted City In The World
On Sunday, 15 September, Kuching earned the title of 'the most polluted city in the world' due to the worsening haze in southwestern Sarawak
According to New Straits Times, Kuching earned the title when its air quality, as measured by the US Air Quality Index (AQI), hit 202, which is classified as 'very unhealthy'.
The 'very unhealthy' air quality in Kuching, according to the US-based website World's Air Pollution: Real-time Air Quality Index, means that everyone – not just sensitive groups like children and the elderly – may experience serious health effects.
They recommend that everyone should avoid or limit outdoor exertion.
This is the second time in a week a Malaysian city has topped the list of the world's most polluted metropolises
Last Wednesday, 11 September, Kuala Lumpur topped the list with an AQI reading of 165, beating the likes of Jakarta, Indonesia and Lahore and Delhi in India.
The unhealthy air pollution readings have been a cause of major concern and schools throughout the country have been ordered to close
According to The Star, the Sarawak State Disaster Relief Management Committee said that the Education Department issued a notice for the closure of 298 schools in Sarawak today.
The Star also reported that the Education Ministry ordered the closure of 138 schools in Selangor and 25 schools in Putrajaya today due to the ongoing haze situation.
Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) reported that moderate to dense smoke haze continues to come from persistent hotspots in Sumatra and many areas of Kalimantan
Furthermore, according to the ASMC website, the convergence of prevailing winds over Peninsular Malaysia has led to the accumulation of smoke haze and hazy conditions.
They have also forecasted that generally dry weather is expected to continue, except for some showers over northern Sumatra and parts of Malaysia.