Monday, June 24, 2013

The Haze

I am probably just another person ranting online about the current alarming haze situation that hits Malaysia but I feel like keeping a record about this hot topic in my blog.

When the news about the terrible haze in Singapore reached its peak last Friday, I felt so sorry for all the people (especially babies, old folks or those with breathing/lung problems!) in Singapore who must have felt really suffocated with no clean air to breathe. Deep inside, I felt so grateful that the haze has not reached my place although some parts of Johor had suffered from it since last weekend. I kept on praying that it wouldn't spread wider.

After I woke up yesterday morning, I went downstairs and as usual I was going to open the front door to let the sun rays and fresh air come inside my house. The moment I opened my front door, I could not believe with what I saw. The whole residential area was really hazy as if someone in the neighbourhood just set a fire to burn ridiculously giant amount of rubbish. But I could not see any lad or lady doing that.

I looked further and stared up to the sky. It seemed like everything was enveloped in smog because the air was a tad smelly. Thus, I reckoned, it must have been the haze. It's finally reached my place. Not long, I quickly shut my front door again so the burnt smell wouldn't go inside my house.

Hazy day. Picture was taken at 12.30pm.

By noon, the haze situation got worse. On our way to my MIL's house, I spotted many people wearing masks when they were driving their cars and almost all houses in town closed their doors and windows in a broad daylight. The blazing sun spared us really hot weather for the whole afternoon and the burnt smell got more intense as the clock ticked. We could smell the strong burnt smell inside the house even though we've closed the door and windows. Some of us, including my husband and me, even wore protection masks inside the house.

In late afternoon, I thought of getting some protection masks from local pharmacies to keep at home but they ran out of mask stock so I came home empty handed.

By night, I heard that the pollution index in some parts of Malaysia spiked to beyond 750, way far above the threshold of 300 for hazardous air quality. Schools in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor are closed and some companies allow their employees to work from home today (Monday). The Malaysian authorities declared state of emergency in some areas and suggested people to stay indoors as much as possible until further notice.

I hope these haze episodes air their series finale as soon as possible; otherwise, I can picture more and more people will fall sick in no time.

I regret the fact that this regional catastrophe is actually man-made and could have been prevented.

Illegal burning can't be tolerated anymore and should be put to an end.

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