Malaysia’s aviation, maritime sectors on high alert

Kuala Lumpur, Sep 13 (IANS) Malaysia’s aviation and maritime sectors have been ordered to remain on high alert following a worsening of the haze situation here, the media reported on Sunday.

Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said the Marine Department and Civil Aviation Department had issued warnings in view of the reduced visibility in some major cities and towns, The Malaysian Star reported.

Liow said two commercial flights had so far been diverted due to the haze.

On Saturday morning, a Tiger Airways flight from Singapore to Ipoh was forced to land at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport as the visibility at Ipoh Airport had dropped to less than 900 metres.

On Sunday, an AirAsia flight from Bangkok, Thailand to Kuala Lumpur had to be re-routed to Phuket before entering Malaysian air space.

Liow added that some maritime activities would have to be stopped if visibility dropped below one nautical mile.

Choking haze from Indonesian forest fires is the new normal for Southeast Asian summers — and this year, forest fires in Sumatra island province of Indonesia have caused a smoky haze that has led to a condition where planes can’t land, schools are closed, and states of emergency have been imposed in the region.

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