Air in many parts of Malaysia turned unhealthy as a weeklong haze blamed on forest fires in neighboring Indonesia worsened on Wednesday, and the government said it may declare an emergency and close schools.
Hospitals reported a spurt in complaints of respiratory and eye ailments from the dust and smoke-laden white haze, which hung over Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s largest city, and seven othertowns.
The haze wrapping tropical Kuala Lumpur resembled fog in a European city on a wintry morning but the hot and humid outdoors belied the impression. The visibility at Kuala Lumpur International Airport fell to 1 kilometer but no flights were affected.
An emergency may be declared if the air quality becomes hazardous, Uttusan Malaysia newspaper reported. That would entail closing schools and shortening work hours to reduce people’s exposure to pollution.
Here’s hoping schools and workplaces shut down until this passes. It sounds really icky and unhealthy.