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Malaysia declares national emergency over haze

  • Authorities in Malaysia have proclaimed an emergency today in Muar, a district located in the southern part of the country. This district has seen a smoky haze which has supposedly resulted from forest fire emanating from the neighboring Indonesia and this has led to an unprecedented level of pollution in Malaysia – in fact, it is the worst situation in several years as far as pollution is concerned. Previously this smog had affected Singapore but now it has come to the southern tip of Malaysia and the flames coming across the sea from the Sumatra Island of Indonesia have only added fuel to the fire.

    As per an air pollution index maintained by the national government of Malaysia, there has been a reading of 746 in the early hours today. It is well above 300, which is deemed as the most dangerous when it comes to quality of air. Authorities have instructed the local residents to keep to their homes and also ordered that schools be closed. This information has been provided in his Facebook page by G Palanivel, the environment minister of Malaysia. The district has an estimated population of 250 thousand people and many of them have given photos on Twitter showing how buildings and bridges have been covered by smog that has reduced visibility to only about a few feet.