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Schools in Rompin, Pahang may close tomorrow if the air quality, which has breached the "very unhealthy" level, worsens. -- NSTP Archive

ROMPIN: Schools in Rompin, Pahang may close tomorrow if the air quality, which has breached the "very unhealthy" level, worsens.

A district education department spokesman said school authorities have been told to be on standby while the department continuously monitors the Air Pollutant Index (API) readings issued by the Department of Environment.

"Lessons will continue as usual today. However, if the reading at the Rompin API station worsens, the department will send out a circular through WhatsApp to inform principals and headmasters to close school tomorrow. It all depends on the situation.

"Schools in the district have been banned from conducting outdoor activities and students are encouraged to use a face mask to avoid health problems. Schools have also been told to advise students on what they should do during the haze conditions, including drinking water frequently to keep the body hydrated," he said today.

Rompin remains the worst-hit area in the country with an API reading hit of 201 as at 9pm last night before gradually reaching 232 at 4am. It later dropped to 228 at 9am today.

This is not the first time the air quality in the district was categorised as "very unhealthy". In March this year, the API reading reached 279 but it was largely caused by widespread peat and bush fires in the district.

Meanwhile, a spokesman from the district Fire and Rescue Department said no open burning was reported in the district, thus ruling out local bush and forest fires as the cause of the haze.

The air pollution level is categorised as good from zero to 50, moderate (51-100), unhealthy (101-200), very unhealthy (201-300) and hazardous (301 and more).

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