Two die in Sumatra; haze eases in Singapore

A view of Pekanbaru in South Sumatra on Sept 15, 2019 as haze settles over the area.
A view of Pekanbaru in South Sumatra on Sept 15, 2019 as haze settles over the area.PHOTO: AFP

A four-month-old Indonesian baby and a 59-year-old man were reported to have died due to the choking haze enveloping South Sumatra province, Indonesian media reported, with five non-governmental organisations accusing the government of committing a serious breach of human rights for failing to control the fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

In Malaysia, rain fell over Kuala Lumpur, providing some relief from the haze, after cloud seeding efforts by the government bore fruit in the central states of Peninsular Malaysia.

About 500 schools and kindergartens were expected to shut today due to the haze in Sarawak and Putrajaya, with Malaysia's air quality index hitting "very unhealthy" levels in three cities in Sarawak.

In Singapore, it has been hazy one moment, followed soon after by relatively clear skies due to the changing wind direction.

The air quality reached unhealthy levels last Saturday, but improved on Sunday. The relatively clearer skies continued yesterday, with the PSI hovering at moderate levels throughout the day.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2019, with the headline 'Two die in Sumatra; haze eases in S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe