KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A layer of heavy haze has forced Malaysian authorities to shut schools in four states, including Kuala Lumpur, with officials to begin cloud seeding operations to try to induce rain to help clear the air.
The thick, dirty white haze blanketed many parts of Malaysia early Tuesday, with 34 out of 52 air quality stations recording unhealthy air levels.
Meteorological department official Maznorizan Mohamad says two planes will take off later Tuesday in Kuala Lumpur and surrounding areas, as well as in Kuching in Sarawak state on Borneo island.
She said the cloud-seeding is planned for three days but will depend on cloud availability and weather conditions.
The haze affects the region every year, and is largely caused by slashing and burning forests to clear land for agriculture in Indonesia.