Malaysia: Schools close again over worsening haze hinh anh 1Pollution in Kualar Lumpur (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Malaysia has announced school closures in several states and capital city Kuala Lumpur on October 19 due to the prolonged haze crisis caused by Indonesian slash-and-burn farming.

As of 6:00 pm on October 18, the Air Pollutants Index (API) had increased to unhealthy quality level in 16 areas. The API readings for Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, a federal administrative centre of Malaysia, reached about 116.

An API between 0 and 50 is good, 50 to 100 is moderate, 101 to 200 is unhealthy, 201 to 300 is very unhealthy and 301 and above is dangerous.

Early this month, many schools in Malaysia were also shut for two days due to smoke from Indonesia.

The haze occurs annually in dry season but has dramatically worsened this year as a result of the El Nino weather phenomenon.

According to the Malaysian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the low air quality stems from wind pattern changes triggered by two tropical storms, namely Koppu and Champi, in the Pacific Ocean. The wind pattern is expected to last until October 21.-VNA