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Haze disrupts more flights in Kuching
by honhub11. September 2015 09:36
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Thursday September 10, 2015


Haze disrupts more flights in Kuching


by Yu Ji


KUCHING: More flights were disrupted at the Kuching International Airport (KIA) due to the haze. With visibility in the state capital as low as 400m on Thursday morning, a number of flights had been retimed and diverted.


"Owing to the current severe haze condition in parts of Malaysia, several flights in and out of Kuching on 10 September 2015 were affected,” Malaysia Airlines said in a brief statement. The airline is monitoring the situation closely and will adjust its flight operations into and out of Kuching International Airport when necessary," it said.


Flights affected include those from Miri and Kuala Lumpur. Some have been redirected to land in Sibu. This is the second day where the haze has disrupted flights. On Wednesday, the national airline confirmed MH2504 faced landing difficulties. The pilot executed a "go around" because of the poor visibility.


At 2pm Thursday, the Air Quality Index (API) was 150 in Kuching, 174 in Samarahan and 155 in Sri Aman. The situation is showing no signs of improving. The top of multi-storey buildings almost could not be seen. On highways, the view is nothing but a grey blanket of dense smoke. The three cities are currently the only areas in Malaysia in the unhealthy category. 


Samarahan's 174 reading is actually the worst of the year so far. "Many parts of Kalimantan continued to be shrouded by dense smoke haze," said the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre in its latest update. Since Wednesday, the centre has elevated Kalimantan from level two to three, which is the most severe. The prevailing dry weather in Kalimantan has led to a further escalation of hotspot activities there in recent weeks.


"Persistent hotspot clusters with widespread moderate to dense haze have been detected mainly in the western, southern and central parts of Kalimantan," it said. A staggering 401 and 333 hotspots were detected in Kalimantan on Sept 4 and 5 respectively, based on surveillance by the NOAA-18 satellite. Sumatra has been at level three since the start of the month.


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