Saturday, 8 August 2009

Hazy days

These are the Malaysian sunrises we long for.But instead, for the past 12 years, from July through to August, we get this. Global warming in your face, literally! Visibility down to 5 M, smell of burnt ash hanging in the air, tearing of eyes, itching of skin and exacerbation of wheezing if one is proned. Thank God for gyms and spinning classes. The added fear this year is the H1N1 flu pandemic which is likely to be worsened by the haze, the Minister of Health Malaysia nonchalantly informs the public.

This satellite picture shows the offending areas of forest fires from Central Sumatra being carried over by the winds to Malaysia. Also affected are Thailand and Singapore. The El Nino weather phenomenon which was worst in 1997-1998, led to drought and forest fires amounting to US$9 billion in economic losses. This year promises to be a bad El Nino effect again.

This picture, taken at mid-day, reflects the gloom and doom that pervades space and people alike giving rise to a feeling of lethargy and listlessness. So apart from the loss of tourism, transport and farming, manpower wastage is high.

KL skyline in better times, when blue is the actual colour of the sky.

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