Air pollution, smog, forest and bush fires and drought expected from El Nino phenomenon and lower rainfall.

PETALING JAYA: Weather experts believe the hot spell will last until June, with the El Nino phenomenon and lower rainfall causing drought, and leading to severe air pollution, smog and forest and bush fires.

Climatology and physical oceanography expert Prof Dr Fredolin Tangang was quoted as saying the drought would be likely to continue affecting the whole region, with Sabah and northern Sarawak being the hardest hit in the next two months.

Water quality specialist Dr Zaki Zainudin was quoted as saying that the prolonged El Nino would be compounded by lower rainfall in many parts of the country, and lower water levels in rivers, lakes and catchment areas.

“Reduced flow of water also means a potential increase in pollutants in our streams and rivers,” he said, according to NST Online.

The lower water volume would not dilute the wasters dumped in rivers, and the aquatic ecosystems would come under a lot of stress.

Science minister Wilfred Madius Tangau said recently that the current hot spell could cause a heat wave if the temperature exceeds 35°C for five straight days, or 37°C for three consecutive days.

So far the highest temperature was recorded at 38.5°C on Thursday in Alor Setar, Kedah, and Chuping, Perlis.

He advised Malaysians, especially senior citizens and children, to take precautions when engaging in outdoor activities to prevent dehydration.

The heat wave has claimed its first victim, a police trainee, who died of a heatstroke in Johor on Friday.


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