Haze In Kuala Lumpur

When Wuan opened the door early this morning and looked out, she remarked, “It is hazy.”

The view outside was obscured by the curtain and then a frangipanni tree. Although I could not see, I could smell. The air reeked of the unmistakable burnt stench. I thought I had escaped the smoke haze when I left Penang. Looks like there is no reprieve for me yet. At its worse in Penang, visibility was 5km. On normal clear days, I could see planes landing at the airport in the distance. On that particular day, it was all a blur.

Smoke haze is common in the South-east Asian region from July to October. Uncontrolled forest fires in Malaysia, Kalimantan, Jawa and Sumatra blankets the entire region with smoke. Daily activities are disrupted and health affected. Among the more common problems related to smoke haze are respiratory ailments and conjunctivitis. It is advisable to wear a N95 mask that is designed to block airborne particles when outdoors, and drink more water.

The Department of Environment under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment publishes the Air Pollutant Index (API) in their website. The index is updated twice daily – 11am and 5pm. The website also has an advisory section on the health measures that should be taken for various levels of the API.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

4 thoughts on “Haze In Kuala Lumpur”

  1. i smell it in the air v. badly here in PJ

    I don’t feel too good either. The weather forecast says it may rain tomorrow. For once, lets hope they are correct.

  2. It’s quite bad in PJ indeed.. drink more water everyone..

    Already drinking like a fish.

  3. I hate how it makes me sneeze, even in the middle of the night. We are screwing up our own planet. Shame on us. But then if most of us cannot live responsibly in our own small lives, how can we do it collectively as a race?

    Good question.

  4. Great country, happy people, shame about the smoke. I’m asthmatic, won’t be coming to that part of the world again in a hurry. Left yesterday after a very frustrating 5 days. Can’t be helping your economy, health services etc. My partner questioned why we in England are trying so hard to reduce emissions when this is happening over there.

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