JOHOR BAHRU: Several residents of Pasir Gudang have moved away from the area as the number of people affected by the fumes from the toxic chemical waste pollution rose to 1,900.
More than 380 people have been taken to hospital after inhaling the toxic fumes from the waste dumped into Sungai Kim Kim, while hundreds more have received treatment.
One of them is Mahirah Ahmad Helmi, 32, who has taken her two children, one three years old and the other five months old, to stay at her father-in-law’s house in Kempas.
The teacher at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Kota Masai 2 said her older child has been coughing over the past few days, and her younger child suffered from sore eyes.
She has taken the children for treatment at the Sultan Ismail Hospital.
“From today, I will stay temporarily at my father-in-law’s house. In fact, from yesterday, all my neighbours started leaving because they feel that their lives are under threat," said the resident of Taman Kota Masai.
Mahirah said she hoped that Sungai Kim Kim will be cleaned up immediately to prevent the situation from worsening.
Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman, 47, who lives in Taman Bukit Dahlia, said he checked his three children into a hotel in Johor Bahru on Wednesday night.
The schools are closed and the children are unable to attend classes anyway, he said.
The Education Ministry on Wednesday ordered the indefinite closure of all 111 schools in Pasir Gudang. Schoolchildren started complaining of breathlessness, nausea and vomiting from Mar 7, after breathing in the toxic fumes.