Haze pollution forces Malaysia school closures

AP News
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Posted: Oct 20, 2010 11:04 PM
Haze pollution forces Malaysia school closures

An education official says more than 200 schools in southern Malaysia have been ordered closed after a drop in air quality due to haze from fires in Indonesia.

Mohamad Adha Shah Mohamad Basir says the schools in Muar district were told to shut Thursday.

Department of Environment readings showed pollution levels in the district in southern Johor state were potentially hazardous earlier this week. Air quality was moderate Thursday after morning rains.

Mohamad Adha Shah says the schools were shut as a precaution and might reopen Friday. The state is distributing face masks to all public servants and students.

Haze periodically troubles parts of Southeast Asia, usually coming from neighboring Indonesia where farmers illegally start fires to clear land.