JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia denied Friday that forest and peat fires on Sumatra and Borneo islands have been inflicting the haze in Malaysia, after the neighboring authorities despatched a letter complaining concerning the air high quality and asking for each international locations to work collectively to take care of the blazes.
Forest and peat fires are an annual drawback in Indonesia that strains relations with neighboring international locations. In recent times, smoke from the fires has blanketed elements of Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and southern Thailand.
Some elements of Malaysia mentioned they skilled smoke from the Indonesian blazes since final week, however the Indonesian authorities denied its fires are the trigger.
“Till now there is no such thing as a transboundary haze. No cross-border smoke. I don’t know what foundation Malaysia makes use of to make these statements,” Indonesian Atmosphere and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar instructed The Related Press.
Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, and Kuching, one in all its cities on Borneo island, have been just lately ranked as among the many world’s high 5 most polluted cities by IQAir, a Swiss air high quality expertise firm.
There are greater than 1,900 recorded scorching spots on Sumatra, largely in South Sumatra province, in line with the information from Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Company. On Monday, the native authorities in South Sumatra requested residents to earn a living from home and faculties to go surfing amid a blanket of haze.
A whole bunch of forest fires in South Kalimantan province in Borneo island made the smoke haze much more widespread, particularly over the last week. The native authorities has additionally known as the scholars to do on-line studying as a result of the air high quality is unhealthy.
A number of districts in Central Kalimantan have declared emergency response standing for forest and land fires, together with Palangkaraya, the province’s capital metropolis, which declared it on Friday and ready extra budgetary funds for dealing with forest and land fires. The native authorities in Central Kalimantan additionally mentioned that college students should not go to highschool within the areas the place the air high quality is classed as being “harmful.”
Indonesian authorities have to this point ignored Malaysia’s request.
Bakar offered authorities knowledge exhibiting that, whereas it fluctuates, air high quality within the areas the place the peat and forest fires have been discovered prior to now week have been getting higher.
“We’re nonetheless working to deal with the forest and land fires in Borneo and Sumatra islands in addition to doable. And the image of the state of affairs on the bottom is getting higher,” she mentioned, including that rain was aiding the method in a number of areas, together with via authorities rain-seeding efforts.