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Three die as haze engulfs Palangkaraya JAKARTA - At least three people have died and 60 more are suffering from respiratory problems as thick haze from forest fires burning out of control continues to engulf Palangkaraya, the provincial capital of Central Kalimantan. Central Kalimantan deputy governor Nahson Taway said on Tuesday that the haze, which he claimed was worse than last year's, had also forced airport authorities to close the airport over the past few weeks. "We are worried that the problem will persist as the fire spreads very fast across the peat land during the current dry season," Nahson said after reporting the haze problem to Vice President Hamzah Haz.
"The province needs more help because the haze is getting thicker every day," he said. The central government sent 30,000 masks and medical teams to handle the cases of respiratory problems in the province. Nahson said the local administration was completely powerless in facing the fires and could only hope for heavy rains to put out the peat land fires across the province.
He said the province's airport had been closed since Aug. 26, forcing authorities to get supplies from Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, and transport them overland to Palangkaraya. "It slows down getting the supplies for our province because we need more time to transport them from Banjarmasin," the deputy governor said. Haze resulting from forest fires has become a perennial problem for Kalimantan and Sumatra over the past few years, especially during the dry season.



Posted in Forest fires @ 04 September 2002 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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