Kuala Lumpur, August 16:

The haze from Indonesian forest fires has begun to clear in Malaysia’s northern states and in Borneo island in the east, but shifting winds have sent it over neighbouring Thailand, officials said today. “There is less haze in the north due to an easterly wind. The haze appears to be shifting towards the north, to southern Thailand,” said a forecasting officer with the meteorological services department. The air pollution index (API) at Miri in Sarawak state on Malaysian Borneo, dipped to a “moderate” reading of 75 today compared to an “unhealthy” 116 yesterday. Smoke and dust there was being blown over from peat fires raging on Kalimantan on the Indonesian side of Borneo island. The index also improved in Perlis state in the north of peninsular Malaysia, from 83 to 61.

Indonesia assured of aid

Singapore: Singapore said on Tuesday it would send a military plane to help Indonesia fight forest fires creating a choking haze in Malaysia and called for a coordinated Southeast Asian response to the problem. The C-130 plane, equipped with cloud-seeding devices, will leave for Sumatra island by the end of the week after Indonesian authorities accepted the offer for help. —AP