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Peatland News

Title: Stay indoors until air quality improves
Date: 05-Aug-2005
Category: Malaysia
Source/Author: The Malay Mail (Malaysia)
Description: Another article featuring the smoke haze affecting Malaysia, which illustrates that the resultant haze from fires (particularly peat) have a negative impact on people's welfares.

KUALA LUMPUR ,Members of the public should limit their outdoor activities until the air quality in the Klang Valley improves. August 4: 



Department of Environment (DOE) air quality division director Kalsom Abdul Ghani also advised parents to monitor their children’s outdoor activities.

Those suffering from respiratory problems should refrain from going out unless absolutely necessary, she added.

Kalsom said although there was a slight improvement in air quality in the Klang Valley yesterday morning after a brief downpour, the situation relapsed in the afternoon.

She said this was caused by winds blowing in from Sumatra where many hotspots (peat fires) were recorded.

"The air quality in parts of Klang Valley, including Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya is bordering on unhealthy.

“Other areas including Seremban, Nilai and Bukit Rambai are also badly affected."

The hazy situation was worsened by open burning and peat fires in several areas in the Klang Valley and Selangor.

Aside from the fire at an oil palm plantation near Cyberjaya for the past two days, several cases of open burning were detected by the DOE in an air surveillance with the Police Air Wing.

Kalsom said DOE teams detected open burning in Puchong, Saujana Putra, Johan Setia near Klang, Putra Perdana and Dengkil. She said action would be taken against the land owners.

POOR VISIBILITY: The hazy condition in Bandar Utama at 2pm yesterday

Kalsom urged the public to report on open burning to the DOE operations room in Putrajaya which is open from 7.30am to 11.30pm daily, including Sundays and public holidays.

The department’s toll-free line is 1-800-88-2727.

Meanwhile, efforts to douse the peat fire at the six-hectare oil palm plantation belonging to Cyberjaya Corporation continues, with the involvement of more than 50 fire-fighters.

It was reported the fire was caused by open burning carried out by illegal immigrants in the area.

While visibility in the Klang Valley is still low, despite brief downpours, the haze is expected to envelop Kuala Lumpur for several more days.

More than 400 hotspots (peat fires) have been recorded in Sumatra.

An official from the Meteorological Department said the situation might worsen as it expected dry weather in the next few days, coupled with the Southwest monsoon season. 

Author(s) Harny Abu Khair
Website (URL) http://www.mmail.com.my/Current_News/MM/Thursday/National/20050804114244/Article/index_html

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