Singapore

Haze watch: Schools closed in Malaysia, More troops deployed in Indonesia

Haze is the word currently enveloping Southeast Asia.

In Singapore, the National Environment Agency's (NEA) highest 3-hour PSI reading over a 24 hour period was 249.

That reading came at 9pm on Monday, Sept 14.


Trend chart of 3-hour PSI readings for the past 24hours. PHOTO: NEA  

While life in Singapore continues to function normally —  save for some jittery F1 race organisers — the same cannot be said for our regional neighbours.

Schools have been closed and states of emergency declared.

Here's a quick look at how the grey shroud has affected our neighbours.

Malaysia


Malaysia's iconic Petronas Twin Towers are seen shrouded by haze in Kuala Lumpur on September 15, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

On Monday night, Malaysia's Education Ministry declared all schools in the states of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Negri Sembilan and Malacca will be closed Tuesday, reported The Star Online.

 

 

It was later announced that was extended (for all except Malacca) that they will be closed until further notice.

The decision affects some 1.5 million students.

The Air Pollutant Index (API) for these areas from 6am - 11am on Tuesday has been in the unhealthy range.

The highest reading in that five-hour period was in Batu Muda, Kuala Lumpur with 183.

More than half of the country’s 52 monitoring stations registered “unhealthy” air.


KL Tower (back) barely visible on Sept 15. PHOTO: AFP
Areas in Malaysia affected with 'unhealthy' haze readings. PHOTO GOOGLE MAPS

Malaysia has declared that schools in areas with an API over 200 will be closed.

Indonesia


Indonesian soldiers along with firemen put out a fire on farm land in Kampar, Riau Province. PHOTO: AFP

Indonesia deployed an extra 1,600 military personnel to fight the forest and agricultural fires producing the thick haze.

AFP reports that they join over 1,000 soldiers sent to Sumatra last week to fight the blaze.

President Joko Widodo ordered the military ramp-up after authorities declared a state of emergency on the island’s hard-hit Riau province.


Students from Palembang, Sumatra, wearing face mask as they walk home after school. PHOTO: REUTERS

After announcing the troop increase, President Widodo said he had ordered law enforcement agencies to “take firm legal action against parties responsible for the forest fires”.

Around 100 people and 15 companies are being investigated.

Tens of thousands in smoke-choked Sumatra and Borneo have fallen ill, while air travel there – as well as in parts of Malaysia – has been hit by sporadic flight delays or cancellations due to poor visibility.

Source: AFP, The Star Online, Straits Times, Twitter

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