KUALA LUMPUR: The onset of Southwest Monsoon from the middle of this month to September is expected to reduce the occurrence of thunderstorms and heavy rains and most states will experience more days without rain.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the strong El Nino phenomenon last December had an impact on the country’s weather conditions causing heat waves as well as hot and dry weather in certain areas across the country.

“I am aware of the latest status of hot weather where four areas in Kelantan are at Stage Two of the Heat Wave, which is the daily maximum temperature exceeding 37 to 40 degrees Celsius for at least three consecutive days,“ he said in a statement here today .

Nik Nazmi said this year has seen two deaths involving heat stroke, namely a 22-year-old man in Pahang in February and a three-year-old child in Kelantan last month.

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Accordingly, Nik Nazmi advises the public to be alert to weather conditions and air quality and not to engage in open burning activities during the Southwest Monsoon this month.

“The public is advised to be aware of the weather and air quality through the myCuaca application, MyIPU and the official website of MET Malaysia (https://www.met.gov.my/) as well as the Air Pollutant Index Management System (APIMS) portal (https:// apims.doe.gov.my/home.html),“ he said.

He also asked the public to also report cases of open burning or fire to the Fire and Rescue Department at 999 and the Department of Environment hotline 1-800-88-2727 or email to aduan_k@doe.gov.my or to the aduan portal https ://eaduan@doe.gov.my or via 03-88712333.

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In related developments, Nik Nazmi said a second meeting of the National Committee on Haze and Dry Weather (JIJCKK) will be held as soon as possible to discuss the current hot and dry weather situation and organise related strategies together with all ministries, departments and agencies involved.

He said the JIJCKK meeting that was last held in February was to discuss the country’s preparations to deal with hot and dry weather as well as measures to prevent open burning and haze.