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Haze from Sumatra fires shrouds Malaysian cities

Published on Jun 16, 2013 3:43 PM

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysia was on Sunday shrouded with haze from forest fires on the Indonesian island of Sumatra causing "unhealthy" levels of pollution in six areas.

Director-general Halimah Hassan said the Environment Department had detected 46 hotspots in Sumatra via satellite.

The air pollutant index showed unhealthy levels of between 101 and 129 in six areas on Sunday morning, including two places in Malacca state, along with Port Dickson and the country's largest port, Port Klang. In the capital Kuala Lumpur, the skies were hazy with air pollution readings at 92, just below the unhealthy threshold. A level of 101 to 200 is considered unhealthy, while 51 to 100 is moderate.

Ms Halimah in a statement late on Saturday attributed the haze to the westerly monsoon season during which winds blow the smoke towards Malaysia.

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