- Title: MALAYSIA: Malaysia declares emergency due to Haze
- Date: 23rd June 2013
- Summary: KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA (JUNE 23, 2013) (REUTERS-ACCESS ALL) VARIOUS OF TRAFFIC DRIVING DOWN ROAD VARIOUS OF KUALA LUMPUR'S TWIN TOWERS (KLCC) ENGULFED IN HAZE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING AROUND WITH FACE MASKS (SOUNDBITE) (English) 20 YEAR OLD KUALA LUMPUR RESIDENT, KHAIRUL SAYING: "I think this haze is very dangerous for us as Malaysians, as you can see this street is so, not so many people because there are many haze. The haze is so heavy now a days. So I think the haze has spoiled our daily activities." VARIOUS OF MOTORCYCLISTS WEARING FACE MASKS
- Embargoed: 8th July 2013 13:00
- Location: Malaysia
- Country: Malaysia
- Topics: Disasters
- Reuters ID: LVAENDK97KESDWJBLKG5JQ9BOPRA
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Malaysia declares emergency as Indonesia smoke pollution thickens.
Malaysia declared a state of emergency in two parts of the southern state of Johor on Sunday (June 23) as smoke from land-clearing fires in Indonesia pushed air pollution above the level considered hazardous.
The illegal burning of forests and other land on Indonesia's Sumatra island, to the west of peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, to clear space for palm oil plantations is a chronic problem during the June-September dry season.
The "haze" caused by fires in Riau province on Sumatra has also shrouded neighbouring Singapore but air quality in the city state improved over the weekend after reaching hazardous levels there.
Malaysian Natural Resources and Environment Minister G. Palanivel said in a Facebook post that the "Prime Minister Najib Razak has agreed to declare emergency status in Muar and Ledang with immediate effect."
Palanivel said the air pollution index in the two districts had exceeded 750. A reading above 300 indicates that air pollution is hazardous.
Neither Palanivel nor the prime minister's office could be reached for comment.
A spokesman at the Johor state operations centre told Reuters that it was awaiting orders from the National Security Council and that residents in the affected areas should stay indoors.
Haze had also worsened in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur reducing visability.
One resident said the haze was disrupting their day.
"I think this haze is very dangerous for us as Malaysians, as you can see this street is so, not so many people because there are many haze. The haze is so heavy now a days. So I think the haze has spoiled our daily activities," Khairul said.
Indonesian officials have deflected blame by suggesting companies based in Malaysia and Singapore may be partly responsible.
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