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Saturday, August 13, 2005

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The Pioneer > Home Malaysia declares emergency in two regions

PTI/ Kuala Lumpur

Schools, offices and factories remained closed in Malaysia's biggest harbour and a tourist spot as authorities declared a state of emergency in the two areas and set up a 125 member special team to fight one of the worst pollution crisis of the country triggered by the forest fires from neighbouring Indonesia.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi asked citizens to pray for rains to put an end to the crisis which has disrupted air traffic and forced closure of schools and universities.

In Port Klang and Kuala Selango, the two areas under emergency, all earthworks and activities at quarries have come to a halt though supermarkets, clinics and other vital services are open.

Schools also remained closed across Kuala Lumpur as the city continued to be blanked by a swathe of thick haze.

People were seen sporting face masks as air pollution spiralled to unhealthy levels in the few days. All airports and ports in the country will be closed until the haze situation improves, Transport minister Chan Choy said.

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