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Air quality at dangerous levels in Singapore and Malaysia

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Air quality at dangerous levels in Singapore and Malaysia
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Haze from fires in Indonesia is continuing to blanket Singapore and Malaysia. Air quality has been described as “hazardous” and has disrupted business and travel in the region.

Overnight, the Pollutants Standards Index hit just over 400, which is classed as possibly “life threatening to ill and elderly people”.

The fires are caused by illegal slash-and-burn land clearance in Sumatra, to the west of Singapore and Malaysia.

In Malaysia, the heavy smog has caused 300 schools to close with the health minister saying that if the situation gets too serious he would advise schools to close temporarily.

Diplomatic relations have been strained because of the smog, with the Indonesian minister leading the response efforts accusing Singapore of behaving like “children” following calls for “definitive action” to tackle the problem.

Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said “all the country’s resources” would be put to work to extinguish the fires.