The API reading at Pasir Gudang in Johor has shot up to 333, hitting the hazardous range at 5.00pm. Muar remains under hazardous smog conditions as well, though inexplicably no new reading was provided at 5.00pm.

Image: Asean haze action online

Image: Asean haze action online

The last reading at Muar at 11.00am today stood at an alarming 383, according to the Department of the Environment.

“Conditions here are really bad,” said an engineering consultant in Nusa Jaya near Pasir Gudang. “The smell of burning ash is very bad. Visibility is about 300 metres.”

“I find it difficult to breathe. Just now, I went for a short walk and I was panting when I got back.”

Earlier, at 11.00am, the reading was at an unhealthy 199 at Pasir Gudang but the situation worsened rapidly in the afternoon.

Kota Tinggi in Johor was also reaching the hazardous threshold with an API reading of 291 at 5.00pm, up from 232 at 11.00am.

Over in Singapore, the 3-hour PSI reading at 7.00pm dipped to 292, just below the hazardous range, after soaring to a record 371 at 1.00pm.