Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 10:52:40

First Malaysian death blamed on Indonesian smog

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Smog from forest fires in Indonesia has been blamed for killing an asthmatic woman in Malaysia, the first reported death attributed to the crisis.

The Sun newspaper says Li Cai Ling, from Malaysia’s southern town of Muar, which experienced intense air pollution, died on June 23. A medical report blamed the death on the polluted air.

Pollution spiked to hazardous levels in some parts of the country in recent days, with southern Malaysia seeing its worst air quality in 16 years last weekend.

By June 26, the smog has eased but continues to hang over some areas including the capital Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia's environment minister travelled to Indonesia on June 26 to meet his counterpart in the hopes of resolving the problem.

Haze is an annual problem during drier summer months, when westerly monsoon winds blow smoke from forest fires and land-clearing on the Indonesian island of Sumatra , which lies across the Malacca Strait.
 
In 1997-1998, severe haze cost Southeast Asia an estimated 9 billion USD from disruptions to air travel and other business activities.-VNA
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