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KUCHING: Sarawak is now experiencing hot and dry weather until next month due to the southwest monsoon season.

According to the weather forecast on the Malaysian Meteorological Department’s website, no rainfall in the state would be expected until Aug 17.

However, isolated rain and thunderstorms would be expected over inland areas.

The weather temperature for this one week is also forecast to reach a maximum level of 33 to 34°C. However, there are no warnings of heatwave issued thus far.

The heatwave conditions are categorised into three levels, in which Level 1 (Alert) is when the mercury reaches up to between 35°C and 37°C for three days in a row.

As for Level 2 (Heatwave), the maximum temperate increases between 37°C to 40°C for three consecutive days, and for Level 3 (Emergency), when the temperature rises above 40°C for three consecutive days.

In view of the hot and dry season, Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) Sarawak controller of environmental quality, Justine Jok Jau Emang, advised the public to drink more fluids and limit outdoor activities.

“For asthmatic patients, they should stay indoors during this time.”

He said the hot weather was expected to improve when the state entered the northeast monsoon, that is in September.

He also appealed and advised the public not to start any open burning unnecessarily.

“We have alerted our regional office to intensity patrols and have frozen the issuance of open burring permits.”

Justine said the board was also working closely with the respective agencies and departments such as Department of Environment, Fire and Rescue Department, Sarawak Meteorological Department, Resident offices and local authorities to prevent and control bush fires.

Any incident of open burning can be reported to the nearest NREB offices or the public hotline at 013-7595866.