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Smoke From Indonesia Fires Puts Haze Over Much Of Asia

Mon., Oct. 27, 1997

Ships without navigational aids were warned Saturday not to sail in the central and southern sectors of the Strait of Malacca because of a smoky haze that has enveloped much of Asia.

The haze, caused by raging forest fires in Indonesia over the past three months, is expected to hang over the strait until Monday morning, the Meteorological Department said Saturday.

The strait runs between Malaysia and the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

The air quality in the capital of Kuala Lumpur and surrounding areas continues to be at unhealthy levels, the Environment Department said. Elsewhere in the country, the air quality is considered moderate to good.

The haze, which has engulfed Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and parts of Southern Thailand and the Southern Philippines over the past three months, is expected to linger a few more weeks.

Part of the haze is also due to pollutants from local factories and enterprises, environmentalists say.

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