Disasters & Accidents

Indonesia working against the clock to control fires across the country

Jakarta, Oct 1 (EFE).- Indonesian authorities were working against the clock on Sunday to extinguish multiple wildfires that have spread across the country, and toxic smoke from which has started affecting neighboring nations, such as Malaysia and Thailand.

The archipelago is facing about 200 “critical” points of fires, according to the latest data provided by the Government, which attributes the increase in fires to high temperatures during the peak of the dry season in the country and fires caused by agriculture.

Fires have been raging uncontrollably in provinces such as South Sumatra, the Indonesian Kalimantan area on the island of Borneo, and West Java, the country’s most populous region, and have caused a thick layer of toxic black smoke that has spread to other nations.

Already in the eastern part of Java, one of the most wooded and difficult to access in the Indonesian archipelago, the fire had already consumed about 30 hectares of forests and vegetation until Sunday, which has led to the displacement of 130 firemen to fight the flames.

The current fire conditions are still quite large and moving north, said Prila Yuda Putra, head of the Ngawi regency of the regional disaster management agency BPBD.

Due to the widespread fire, the local authorities have declared a state of emergency until Oct. 13.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Ministry of Environment has alerted the residents of cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Negeri Sembilan against unhealthy levels of air pollutants and from the growing forest fires in Indonesia and the smoke from the island of Sumatra.

Moreover, the authorities in Thailand on Sunday recommended residents of the southern provinces of the country, near Indonesia, to wear masks and prepare for a wave of fine dust of PM2.5 particles, and reduce their outdoor activities. EFE


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