Malaysia: Brace for even more warmer days

Hana Naz Harun New Straits Times 14 Aug 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIANS can expect “higher than normal” temperatures within the next two months caused by the El Nino phenomenon.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Centre for Earth Sciences and Environment chairman Professor Dr Fredolin Tangang said the “weak El Nino” had affected weather patterns in the region, causing a warmer climate.

“In Malaysia, this weak El Nino has no apparent effect although warmer weather can be expected. However, we’re in the southwest monsoon period, where rainfall is minimal and temperature is the highest,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.

Tangang added that this El Nino phenomenon was much weaker compared with the 2015/2016 extreme El Nino, where warming occurred in the central-eastern Pacific Ocean.

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Malaysia to develop $480 mln oil storage, ship refueling site in south (Johor)

Reuters 13 Aug 19;

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Malaysia on Tuesday said the Johor Port Authority was working to develop a 2 billion ringgit ($477 million) oil storage and ship refueling site in the country’s south.

That marks the latest step in a push to turn Malaysia’s southern peninsular state of Johor into an oil and gas hub that could one day rival Singapore, currently Asia’s main oil centre.

The “Bunker Island Development” is set to have the capacity to store about 1.2 million cubic metres of various oil and gas products, the transport ministry said. It will be used for storage, blending and redistribution.

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Malaysia: Plans activated to fight haze

The Star 14 Aug 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Open Burning Action Plan and the National Haze Action Plan have been activated to coordinate measures by government agencies in addressing open burning and the haze in the country.

This was done as the air quality reached a hazardous level in Miri and a very unhealthy level in Kuala Baram, both places in Sarawak, over the past two days, said Department of Environment (DoE) director-general Norlin Jaafar.

“We have also issued directives under Section 31 and Section 37 of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 to all landowners in the peat soil areas of Kuala Baram to prevent and control fires there.

“Also, we have been conducting daily patrols in areas at risk of open burning as well as providing the Air Pollution Index (API) readings to the Sarawak state disaster management committee for further action, ” she said here yesterday.

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Indonesia: Individuals who annexed Riau national park land identified

Antara 13 Aug 19;

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - The Environment and Forestry Ministry has identified individuals who allegedly annexed thousands of hectares of land within the Tesso Nilo National Park (TNTN) area. "We have the map of who has annexed three hectares (of the national park) and who has 3,000 hectares," Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya told journalists in Pelalawan District Tuesday.

The minister stated this after monitoring the land and forest fire in Riau, in the company of the Indonesian Military Chief Air Chief Marchall Hadi Tjahjanto, the Indonesian Police Chief, Gen. Tito Karnavian, and head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Lt. Gen Doni Monardo.

The group took off from Roesmin Nurjadin Air Base in Pekanbaru and monitored the land and forest fire in Pelalawan and around the Tesso Nilo National Park.

The forest fire in the national park was intentional as she could see some zones drawn by certain groups in the conservation area, Nurbaya said.

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Indonesia: Acute respiratory infection cases in South Sumatra reach 274,502

Antara 13 Aug 19;

Palembang, S Sumatra (ANTARA) - Fires raging through land and forest areas in South Sumatra Province during the January-June 2019 period resulted in 274,502 people suffering from acute respiratory tract infection, a health officer stated.

Residents run the risk of suffering from the infection during the dry spell that induces land and forest fires in several parts of the province, Head of the South Sumatra Provincial Health Office Lesty Nuraini stated on Tuesday

"We have called on the local administration to provide health service facilities to residents as a precautionary measure against haze before the peak of the dry season," she revealed.

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Indonesia: Tesso Nilo's elephants show signs of stress due to forest fire

Antara 13 Aug 19;

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - Mahouts of the elephant Flying Squad at the Tesso Nilo National Park had to evacuate the trained elephants to a safer place, as they showed signs of stress due to a forest fire that gutted the conservation area in Pelalawan District.

"The elephants have shown a change in behavior, because the fire has made them uncomfortable," chief of the Flying Squad Team, Erwin Daulay, told Antara here on Tuesday.

The Tesso Nilo National Park is a conservation forest, a home for the Sumatran endemic elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus).

The TNTN area was extended in 2009 to 83,068 hectares, from only 38,576 hectares in 2004, by including the limited production forest.

However, massive illegal encroachment of the conservation area has changed its landscape into palm oil plantations.

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