Sunday, October 25, 2015

Indonesia's forest fire kills 10 more people

Forest and agriculture fires in Indonesia killed 10 more people, bringing the total death toll to 17, a government spokesman said here Saturday.

The fire, which started last month, may not come to an end before the end of this month, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the national disaster management agency.

"Ten 10 people have been dead in Sumatra Island and Borneo Island," Sutopo told Xinhua via the phone, adding that the other seven people hiking in the Lawu Mountain, Java, were killed when they were trapped in a forest fire earlier this month.

Indonesia is carrying out the biggest firefighting operation with aids from foreign countries, deploying over 22,000 soldiers, police and officers to douse the blaze spreading from the west to the east of the country.

On Friday President Joko Widodo ordered deployment of more troops to the hot spots.

However, due to the large territory and a lack of devices, especially the impacts of the El Niño phenomenon, "it is impossible to terminate the forest fire within one or two weeks," Sutopo said.

Indonesia is home to the world's largest palm oil industry and the annual slash-and-burn practices to clear land for new plantations cause forest fires. 

The situation worsens this year due to the El Niño effect.
Xinhua -

1 comment:

  1. A thick haze that has spread from Indonesia across Southeast Asia has begun to affect the Philippines south, with authorities saying they are monitoring the situation....

    Presidential spokesperson Herminio Coloma Jr. told state radio station Radyo ng Bayan on Sunday that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) had linked up with other government departments and local disaster risk reduction management councils to deal with the situation.

    "A thick haze has blanketed some parts of Mindanao [island]," Coloma said. "The government continues to monitor the situation, especially [its] ill effects."

    The smoke has caused poor visibility in Mindanao skies, and health authorities are seeking to verify whether it is responsible for two recent asthma-related deaths..............


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