Fires close schools in Indonesia

Jakarta - More schools were closed and thousands of residents suffered respiratory problems on Indonesia's Sumatra island as haze from forest and bush fires worsened. 

Latest satellite images detected nearly 1 500 hotspots indicating fires on Sumatra and the Indonesian part of Borneo island, said Sutopo Nugroho, spokesperson for the National Disaster Management Agency. 

"The worsening drought means that more fires are expected," he said. 

He said authorities in Sumatra's Jambi town ordered the closure of junior and senior high schools. Last week, they advised elementary and kindergarten pupils to stay at home because of a "haze emergency". 

Health authorities in Jambi and Riau province reported more than 26 000 cases of respiratory infections, he said.

The Indonesian government has warned that the drought, exacerbated by the El Nino weather pattern, could damage 200 000ha of rice fields, or about 1-2 million tons of rice crops.

The drought has hit parts of Java, South Sulawesi, Bali and West Timor, and is expected to last until October.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
9% - 916 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
54% - 5218 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
33% - 3207 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 310 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.18
+2.5%
Rand - Pound
19.82
+1.1%
Rand - Euro
16.70
+1.5%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.48
+0.6%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.6%
Gold
1,797.24
+0.2%
Silver
20.75
+1.1%
Palladium
2,250.95
+1.3%
Platinum
949.89
+1.3%
Brent Crude
96.31
-0.4%
Top 40
63,161
-1.0%
All Share
69,745
-0.7%
Resource 10
64,485
-0.9%
Industrial 25
84,636
-1.4%
Financial 15
15,760
+0.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE