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live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 49 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Miri is currently 2.4 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
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|Friday, Sep 29|
Moderate 61 AQI US
|Saturday, Sep 30|
Good 41 AQI US
|Sunday, Oct 1|
Good 37 AQI US
Good 49 AQI US
|Tuesday, Oct 3|
Moderate 77 AQI US
|Wednesday, Oct 4|
Moderate 70 AQI US
|Thursday, Oct 5|
Moderate 62 AQI US
|Friday, Oct 6|
Good 48 AQI US
|Saturday, Oct 7|
Good 50 AQI US
|Sunday, Oct 8|
Moderate 56 AQI US
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Miri is a coastal city in north-eastern Sarawak, Malaysia, located near the border of Brunei, on the island of Borneo. It is situated 800 kilometres north east of Kuching and 330 kilometres south west of Kota Kinabalu. A census conducted in 2010 estimated the population to be in the region of 234,550, although this figure will very likely be higher now.
At the beginning of 2021, Miri was experiencing a period of “Moderate” air quality with a US AQI reading of 65. This is in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Looking back at the figures which were recorded throughout 2019, it can be seen that the worst month for air pollution was during August when figures released were at an “Unhealthy” level with readings of between 55.5 and 150.4 µg/m³. Yet, in October and December Miri achieved the target figure as suggested by the WHO of 10 µg/m³ or less. In January and June, the figure was classified as being “Good” with a range between 10 and 12 µg/m³. For the remaining 7 months, the air quality was “Moderate” with figures between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³.
The average figure for the year 2019 was 18.3 µg/m³. The extremely high figure for August coincides with the annual burning of crop residue. These figures show just what an effect this procedure has on the environment.
Depending on the time of year, but the spikes of high air pollution coincide with the end of the harvest and the subsequent burning of the crop residues. It is not surprising to see the figures from these incidents as being extremely high with levels recorded as being “dangerous”. People who light these illegal fires seem to have no regard for the health and safety of others. They merely take advantage of the hot weather to fire their unwanted residue.
Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Kuala Baram 2 in Miri, Sarawak, recorded dangerous air quality with the Air Pollution Index (IPU) reading increasing to 342 at 3.00 pm on Monday 12th August compared to 317 reading at 11.00 am on the same day.
It is not uncommon for Miri to be affected by areas that are not even close to it. The smoke caused by crop burning is easily carried on the prevailing winds for what could be 1000’s of kilometres.
There are a few industrial areas in Miri, but Miri mainly relies on its oil and gas industry which contribute a significant amount to the GDP of Sarawak.
The petroleum industry in Malaysia began in early 1910 with the discovery of the first commercial wells in Miri, Sarawak. In 1988, this industry was the second contributor to the national economy, namely after the manufacturing industry. Oil and gas production are amongst the main sources of air pollution which is one of the world’s biggest killers. When fossil fuels are burned by power plants, automobiles and industrial facilities, they generate toxic gases. Breathing this air can trigger respiratory problems such as asthma, cardiovascular diseases, developmental issues and even cancer.
Flaring, which is the burning of excess natural gas at oil and gas wells, causes methane pollution, a potent greenhouse and contributor to climate change.
At the current rate, it is estimated that the current oil reserves will last for another 15 years. The current gas reserves will last longer. It is estimated that they will last for another 95 years.
The Department of Environment (DOE) has activated the National Open Burning Action Plan and the National Haze Action Plan to coordinate actions by government agencies in addressing the issue of open burning and facing the national haze situation.
Several actions have been taken to overcome the haze problem in Sarawak, such as increased enforcement of open burning activities and other causes that could potentially affect the problem.
People are reminded not to do open burning which affects the quality of local air. The DOE will take stern action against those who cause open burning under Section 29 (a) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974.
Oil and gas drilling is fast becoming one of the largest sources of air pollution in the world, increasingly putting public health and welfare at serious risk. Drilling operations, including oil and natural gas production, natural gas processing, natural gas distribution and transmission, and storage operations release a number of harmful pollutants that are making skies smoggier, hazier, and more toxic to breathe, and they’re all fuelling global warming.
Air pollution is associated with synthetic materials and other harmful contaminants that permeate and form part of the air. These materials are mostly industrial waste, vehicle exhaust fumes, logging actions and so on that emit solid particles and gases that are released into the air. There are many adverse effects that will befall humanity if immediate control measures are not taken to address pollution.
The main effect of air pollution is on human health. Humans will suffer from various diseases, especially respiration due to inhaling polluted air. Humans need clean air to live. If the inhaled air is polluted, the respiratory system will absorb various pollutants into the lungs. This will result in the process of converting carbon dioxide to oxygen cannot be done and the blood will experience a lack of oxygen. This in turn causes impaired lung function and the circulatory system to suffer problems. This results in various diseases.
Air pollution also affects crops. Plants need air in the process of photosynthesis and growth. If the air contains contaminants, this results in a lack of carbon dioxide for the process of chlorophyll production. This causes the plant to turn yellow and die. Plant tissues also suffer from problems and will rot due to the reaction of pollutants attached to trees and plants. Plants will be exposed to various diseases and their output will be threatened.
In addition, air pollution also affects the global and local climate. Various wastes such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide will dissolve in water vapour and will drop as acid rain. This acid rain is dangerous because it will flow and permeate into the soil and destroy the minerals in the soil until the soil becomes infertile. The presence of air pollutants will also affect the ecological balance and ecosystems that have a comprehensive impact on the earth.