Malaysia has declared a state of emergency after smog caused by illegal forest fires in Indonesia has reached hazardous levels in two districts. Residents in the coastal towns on Muar and Ledang have been advised to stay indoors, as the air pollution worsens.
Nearly a hundred forest fires are still burning on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Since the fires began, nearly a fortnight ago, pollution levels in Kuala Lumpur, as well as Singapore, have reached dangerous levels, affecting tourism in both cities. At current, the towns of Muar and Ledang in Malaysia are in shutdown, while air pollution in the capital of Kuala Lumpur continues to worsen.
The streets of the usually thriving Malaysian capital are reportedly empty, as people try to avoid the hazardous smog. Those on holiday in Kuala Lumpur have been advised to stay indoors and avoid going outside at all costs. However, the smog in Singapore cleared up over the weekend, with the haze travelling towards southern areas of Malaysia.
"You wake up in the morning and you can smell burnt wood - you look out the window and there is constant smog clouding the major landmarks that you would ordinarily see,” Raj Ahmed, a resident in Kuala Lumpur, told the BBC. "If you go outside, it's like constantly standing close to a small barbecue."
Attempts to put out the fires by Indonesian officials have had little to no effect on the smog. Military planes have begun spraying water into the atmosphere to create clouds and rain to contain the fire, but with little success.
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