Malaysia reveals first smog death

AFP-JIJI

Smog from slash-and-burn agricultural fires in Indonesia has been blamed for killing an asthmatic woman in southern Malaysia, the first reported death attributed to the crisis, a media report said Wednesday.

The Sun newspaper said Li Cai Ling, a resident of the southern town of Muar — which saw intense air pollution last weekend — died Sunday, with a medical report blaming the polluted air.

Singapore initially bore the brunt of Southeast Asia’s worst smog crisis for years with pollution reaching record levels last week. Favorable winds have since cleared the air over the city-state but southern Malaysia remains choked by smoke.

Pollution spiked to hazardous levels in some parts of the country in recent days, with southern Malaysia seeing its worst air quality in 16 years last weekend.

The smog has eased but continued to hang over some areas, including Kuala Lumpur, on Wednesday.