Port Klang engulfed by smoke


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 11 Aug 2005

PORT KLANG: With the whole town covered in haze, visitors might think that a raging inferno had erupted. 

The town is practically under siege from the haze, which worsened yesterday. 

The air quality in Port Klang is at its worst level compared to other towns and visibility has been greatly reduced. 

People in the streets covered their faces with their hands or wore masks to avoid breathing in the smoke. 

Some said they had nowhere to hide from the smoke as it even “invaded” their homes right up to their bedrooms. 

ADDING TO THE PROBLEM: A tanker emitting smoke and contributing to the haze engulfing Port Klang Wednesday.

Chinese herbal shop owner Aw Kwai Wan, 34, should be happy watching her stock of masks being snapped up but she said she would rather profit from selling other products. 

“Surprisingly, my main customers are primary and secondary school students. 

“The last time business was this good was during the SARs (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak,” she said, adding that other fast-selling items included herbal concoctions for cooling and detoxification. 

“But there is a price to pay. My family members are suffering from dry eyes and sore throats. I rather that this haze did not happen, it is not good for health,” she said. 

Flower trader S. Susiamaah, 43, said her asthma has worsened due to the haze.  

She has to take big gulps of air through her mouth and she coughs more frequently. 

“I cannot afford to be sick. My rented shop in Jalan Kem burnt down about seven months ago. My family depends on the sale of my flowers. 

“I still have to open my stall every day,” said Susiamaah, whose husband is out of work for medical reasons. 

S. Vasugi, a clerk, has been afraid for the health of her four young sons since the air quality dipped last Saturday. 

Vasugi, 34, from Taman Chi Liung in Klang, has an asthmatic son who is 12. 

“I took him out of school today after he complained of difficulty breathing,” she said, adding that her youngest son, two-year-old S. Kartigan, was also sick. 

While the elders worried about the haze, some children continued to play in parks. 

“I’m afraid of the haze but we are playing here because there is nothing better to do at home,” said Fikri Affendi, six. 

“We just cover our mouths when we play,” he added.  

Nor Shafirah Mat Isa, also six, said she hoped the haze would go away soon. 

“I don’t like it. It is too boring to stay in the house all day.”  

 

For more reports go to Haze Alert

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