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Haze update: Air clears up in Muar by 4pm

Published on Jun 23, 2013 6:00 PM

Muar (Johor) - After hitting 746 on the air pollutant index on Sunday morning, smog levels appeared to have improved dramatically in Muar in the afternoon.

Locals said that the air had been acrid and visibility poor since Saturday.

But it has cleared up considerably by 4pm on Sunday when The Straits Times visited the coastal town in northern Johor.

"Our mouths were always dry and you can almost feel like the haze is 'hitting you' in the face," said electrical repair shop owner Ng Chuen Kay, 53.

"But after 2pm today the air cleared up. I don't even have to wear a face mask."

The haze however has affected businesses, particularly food stalls, as locals chose to stay home.

On the popular 4th Avenue food street, business has dropped by at least 30 per cent, hawkers said.

"Sunday is supposed to be the busiest day, but it is all quiet here," said wanton noodle seller Fong Kin Hwee, 48.

The government had declared Muar to be in an emergency status on Sunday morning and announced the closure of schools and government offices on Monday.