Haze forces Malaysian schools to close again

Malaysia shuts schools down again in capital Kuala Lumpur plus several other states due to API index reaching unhealthy levels

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Students walking along a street to reach their school.

Updated Oct 20, 2015

Students wear masks in class at a school. (Reuters)

Malaysia announced on October 19 that schools were closed in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur and some additional states due to the haze caused by forest fires. 

According to the Air Pollution Index (API), pollution levels have reached the ‘’unhealthy’’ range.

"The closure will affect 1,909,842 students in 3,029 schools nationwide," the Education Ministry said.

API defines pollution levels as, 0 to 50 indicating good, 50 to 100 is moderate, 101 to 200 is unhealthy, 201 to 300 is very unhealthy and over 301 is dangerous.

Indonesia had been under pressure to accept an agreement, which would allow international help to assist in fighting the forest fires.

Beginning of October, many schools in Malaysia were closed for two days due to the haze.

Indonesia started its biggest operation to deal with the crisis, thousands of army personnel and dozens of planes were brought in to combat agricultural and forest fires on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

"Unless there is rain, there is no way human intervention can put out the fires," Natural Resources and Environment Minister, Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar told media sources.

Even the multi-nation effort now under way "is not enough to put out the fires," he added.

"We hope the rains will come in mid-November. It will be able to put out the fires," Wan Junaidi said.

TRTWorld and agencies