Indonesia: Dozens hospitalised as thick haze spreads

Channel NewsAsia 25 Jul 17;

MEULABOH: Young children lie in hospital in Aceh province, Indonesia, as thick smoke caused by forest fires forces dozens of people to be treated for lung infections.

Some schoolchildren were still able to go to school in Meulaboh on Wednesday (Jul 26) wearing masks but several schools suspended classes so students could stay at home.

In the past week, about 35 hotspots - concentrations of fires - have destroyed 70 hectares (0.27 square miles) of forests and other land in Aceh, the national disaster agency said.

"The land fires have been caused by people who clear their land by the traditional slash and burn method, so the fire spreads," national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purno Nugroho said.

People are advised to monitor their land and not to slash and burn, especially since the current dry season makes it easy for forest fires to escalate, Nugroho added.

Authorities are trying to put out the blazes and have warned of an escalating threat of forest fires with the dry season expected to continue for several months.

The haze is an annual problem in Indonesia caused by fires set in forest and on carbon-rich peatland in Indonesia to clear land for palm oil and pulpwood plantations.

The blazes occur mainly on Indonesia's Sumatra island and the Indonesian part of Borneo, with monsoon winds typically blowing the haze over nearby Singapore and Malaysia.

There are currently about 180 hotspots in Indonesia over about six provinces, but the number is significantly lower than in 2015 when haze cloaked large parts of the region causing huge numbers to fall ill and sending diplomatic tensions soaring.

Last year, researchers from Harvard and Columbia universities in the United States estimated that the 2015 smog outbreak may have caused over 100,000 premature deaths.
Source: AFP/ec


Eight hot spots detected in Jambi
Jon Afrizal The Jakarta Post 26 Jul 17;

Eight hot spots have been detected across Jambi. The hot spots have been monitored by the Aqua and Terra satellites since July 23.

Jambi Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency’s (BMKG) data and information division head Kurnia Ningsih said the eight hot spots were detected in Batanghari, Bungo, Tebo and West Tanjung Jabung regencies.

“Two hot spots were detected in Bungo and West Tanjung Jabung each,” Kurnia said on Wednesday. Three hot spots have been detected in Tebo while in Batanghari, there is only one hot spot, she added.

Jambi Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) acting chairman Hamdan said authorities were striving to extinguish fires in Tebo by dispatching one of three helicopters provided by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) for water-bombing operations.

“Shortly after we received information from BMKG Jambi, we dispatched the helicopter to carry out fire-extinguishing activities,” said Hamdan.

Meanwhile, the police reported they had arrested ET, 50, a housewife who was also a resident of Sumay district, Tebo regency, for her alleged involvement in land burning. The land burning reportedly took place in Pemayungan village, Sumay district, last Saturday.

Jambi Police spokesperson Adj. Sr. Comr. Kuswahyudi Tresnadi said the crime was discovered when Tebo Police personnel conducted a fire patrol in Pemayungan village.

The police followed up their finding, from which they found the fire starter. On Sunday, ET surrendered herself to the Tebo Police and admitted her guilt. She was charged under Articles 78 (3) and 50 (3) of Law No.41/1999 on forestry. (ebf)

No comments:

Post a Comment