Penang orders all schools on island to close as haze thickens

Opalyn Mok
Students cover their faces with masks outside a school in George Town September 18, 2019. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Sept 18 — All schools on Penang island have been ordered to close when the Air Pollutant Index (API) readings for both districts breached very unhealthy levels of above 200 today.

State executive councillor Phee Boon Poh confirmed that the state Education Department has ordered for all schools in the northeast district to be closed as at 12pm.

“A total 111 primary and secondary schools in the district will be closed from 12pm onwards,” he said.

As at 10am, the API readings in Minden, which is in the Northeast district, is at 203, the readings in Balik Pulau, in the Southwest district, is at 225.

Phee said an official statement on the status of the school closure tomorrow will be issued at 3pm.

API readings are categorised as good for between 0 and 50, moderate for between 51 and 100, unhealthy for between 101 and 200, very unhealthy between 201 and 300 and hazardous if more than 301.

At 7.20am today, a total 51 schools in the southwest district were ordered to close due very unhealthy API level in the district.

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