Hazy conditions likely to persist in Brunei

Azlan Othman

Air quality in Brunei Darussalam remains in the moderate range, which is expected to persist in the coming days.

As of 4pm yesterday, the Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) readings were 68 in the Belait District, 61 in the Tutong District, 54 in the Temburong District and 51 in the Brunei-Muara District.

In a joint statement, the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) at the Ministry of Development (MoD), the Brunei Darussalam Meteorological Department (BDMD) at the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) said that the haze is caused by predominant hotspots in the southern parts of Borneo and blown towards Brunei by the prevailing southwesterly winds.

Satellite images from the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), detected of 470 hotspots yesterday, scattered mostly in the southern and western parts of Borneo.

The MoH is cautioning that at moderate PSI readings (between 51 and 100), minor health effects such as coughs, eye irritations and runny noses may be experienced, while children with asthma, lung and heart diseases are advised to reduce outdoor physical activities.

Moderate haze recorded around Bandar Seri Begawan yesterday. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN

With JASTRe monitoring the situation, the public will be kept informed of the air quality levels through Radio Television Brunei (RTB) channels and the department’s website.

In the meantime, the public is advised to avoid open burning and other activities that may exacerbate the current hazy conditions.

For complaints on open burning or queries on air quality, the public may contact JASTRe at 2241262 ext 4405 during office hours, or the Darussalam hotline at 123.

To report any incidences of bush and forest fires, contact the Fire and Rescue Department hotline at 995.

The public can also access online PSI readings at www.env.gov.bn, and health information and advice at www.moh.gov.bn.

To keep updated with the latest weather information and forecasts, visit the BDMD website at www.met.gov.bn and @bruneiweather on Facebook and Instagram, or download the Brunei WX mobile application.