Malaysia on alert as smog cancels flights

2015-09-13 22:07
Smoke envelopes a peatland forest hit by fire in western Aceh province's Tripa area located in Indonesia's Sumatra island. (AFP)

Smoke envelopes a peatland forest hit by fire in western Aceh province's Tripa area located in Indonesia's Sumatra island. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia's maritime and aviation departments on Sunday issued warnings over poor visibility caused by the worsening haze in the capital and elsewhere.

At least two international flights were diverted during the past two days due to poor visibility, Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said.

He added that some maritime activities would be suspended if visibility drops below 1 nautical mile or 1.8 kilometres, but he did not specify what would be affected.

The smoky haze hovering over Malaysia is caused by the ongoing plantation and forest fires in the nearby Indonesian provinces of Sumatra and Kalimantan, where open burning to clear lands is common.

The environment department said Sunday the air pollution index in Kuala Lumpur and in almost all areas on the peninsula have reached unhealthy levels.

But the health ministry said there had been no marked increase in respiratory ailments due to the worsening haze. It warned residents, especially those with asthma, to avoid the outdoors or to use a face mask when going outside.

In Indonesia, at least 19 flights to and from Pekanbaru, on Sumatra island, were cancelled Sunday and tens of others were delayed due to the thick smog.

Visibility at the airport dropped to 300m at one point early Sunday before improving later in the day, an airport official told local media.

The haze is also blanketing Singapore, according to reports.'s maritime and aviation departments on Sunday issued warnings over poor visibility caused by the worsening haze in the capital and elsewhere.

At least two international flights were diverted during the past two days due to poor visibility, Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said.

He added that some maritime activities would be suspended if visibility drops below 1 nautical mile or 1.8km, but he did not specify what would be affected.

The smoky haze hovering over Malaysia is caused by the ongoing plantation and forest fires in the nearby Indonesian provinces of Sumatra and Kalimantan, where open burning to clear lands is common.

The environment department said on Sunday the air pollution index in Kuala Lumpur and in almost all areas on the peninsula have reached unhealthy levels.

But the health ministry said there had been no marked increase in respiratory ailments due to the worsening haze. It warned residents, especially those with asthma, to avoid the outdoors or to use a face mask when going outside.

In Indonesia, at least 19 flights to and from Pekanbaru, on Sumatra island, were cancelled Sunday and tens of others were delayed due to the thick smog.

Visibility at the airport dropped to 300m at one point early on Sunday before improving later in the day, an airport official told local media.

The haze is also blanketing Singapore, according to reports.

Read more on:    indonesia  |  malaysia  |  air travel  |  environment  |  health

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.