Site icon Conservation news

Rain bring haze reprieve in Indonesia, Singapore

Rains bring haze reprieve in Indonesia, Singapore

Rains bring haze reprieve in Indonesia, Singapore
October 27, 2006

Rain has brought a temporary reprieve for areas affected by forest fires-caused haze in Indonesia according to a report from Reuters.

Officials at Sultan Thaha airport in Jambi province, on the island of Sumatra, said that planes are again taking off and landing after a 10-day closure due to low visibility, according to Reuters. In Singapore, the pollution index was at 19, down from Thursday’s reading of 38, and a high of 128 on October 7, its worst level since the 1997-1998 fires. In Kuala Lumpur, the Air Pollution Index stood at 24 on Thursday, down from 72 on Tuesday, according to local reports.

There have showers over pats of Sumatra as the dry season comes to a close. The rains have helped diminish forest and agricultural fires burning across much of the island.

The fires have been blamed for hundreds of millions to billions in losses in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia.

2006 fires in Borneo and Sumatra
Smoke from agricultural and forest fires burning on Sumatra (left) and Borneo (right) in late September and early October 2006 blanketed a wide region with smoke that interrupted air and highway travel and pushed air quality to unhealthy levels. NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data provided courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response team.

Typically fires are set for land-clearing purposes and allowed to burn until the onset of the rainy season. In particularly dry years, especially during el Niño events, the fires can burn for months and destroy large areas of forest. In 1982-1983 more than 9.1 million acres (3.7 million ha) burned on the island of Borneo before monsoon rains arrived, while more than 2 million hectares of forest and scrub land burned during the 1997-1998 el Niño event, causing $9.3 billion in losses.

The fallout from the haze is increasingly political — the 2005-2006 fires resulted in heated exchanges between Indonesian and Malaysian government officials. Malaysia and Singapore offered assistance in fighting Indonesian blazes, while simultaneously scolding the country for its lack of progress in controlling the wild fires. Indonesia in turn blamed Malaysian firms for rampant illegal logging in the country, which left its forests more susceptible to conflagrations.


Forest fires result from government failure in Indonesia — 10/15/2006
Indonesia is burning again. Smoke from fires set for land-clearing in South Kalimantan (Borneo) and Sumatra are causing pollution levels to climb in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok, resulting in mounting haze-related health problems, traffic accidents, and associated economic costs. The country’s neighbors are again clamoring for action but ultimately the fires will burn until they are extinguished by seasonal rains in coming months

Borneo and Sumatra burn as forest fires rage — 10/4/2006
Forest fires are again burning across Borneo and Sumatra (Indonesia) according to satellite images released this week by NASA.

This article used information from a Reuters report as well as extensive excerpts from previous articles.

Exit mobile version