THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Indonesia forest fires could be worst ever, says Nasa

JAKARTA: Forest fires blanketing Southeast Asia in choking haze are on track to become among the worst on record, scientists warn, with a prolonged dry season hampering efforts to curb the crisis.

disastersenvironmenteconomicshealthagriculturenatural-resources
By AFP

Friday 2 October 2015, 03:59PM


A helicopter crew deployed for water bombing by the National Disaster Management Agency walk past their grounded aircraft due to thick haze in Palembang on Indonesia's Sumatra island on Sept 30, 2015. Photo: AFP

A helicopter crew deployed for water bombing by the National Disaster Management Agency walk past their grounded aircraft due to thick haze in Palembang on Indonesia's Sumatra island on Sept 30, 2015. Photo: AFP

The crisis grips the region nearly every year during the dry season, flaring diplomatic tensions among the neighbours as flights are grounded, schools close and pollution levels reach hazardous highs.

But the current outbreak is one of the worst and longest-lasting in years, with an El Nino weather system making conditions drier than usual in Indonesia and keeping much-needed rain at bay.

Scientists at Nasa now warn this year’s outbreak is on a trajectory similar to 1997 – widely regarded as the most serious haze event on record – and could exceed those unprecedented levels.

“Conditions in Singapore and southeastern Sumatra are tracking close to 1997,” Robert Field, a Columbia University scientist based at Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, was quoted as saying by the US science agency.

“If the forecasts for a longer dry season hold, this suggests 2015 will rank among the most severe events on record.”

Herry Purnomo, a haze expert at the Indonesia-based Centre for International Forestry Research, agreed the situation was akin to 1997, describing the magnitude of this year's fires as “horrendous”.

“I believe the impact of the fires this year will be as bad as 1997, in terms of the cost,” he said.

QSI International School Phuket

Indonesia has deployed more than 20,000 troops, police and other personnel to Sumatra and Kalimantan to fight the fires through waterbombing and chemically-induced rainfall, and hopes rain will arrive within a month to finally douse the blazes.

Indonesia has faced pressure from its neighbours to address the problem since it first emerged nearly 20 years ago.

Authorities this year say tens of thousands of people across Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia have been forced to seek medical treatment for respiratory problems.

The fires also contribute significantly to climate change. The Nasa-linked Global Fire Emissions Database has estimated around 600 million tonnes of greenhouse gases have been released as a result of this year’s fires – roughly equivalent to Germany’s entire annual output.

 

Read original story here.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Police traffic tickets set to go digital

Drunk cyclists? Come on, that can't actually be a thing. What is there, like one? Focus on moto...(Read More)


Sunscreen among contributing factors killing Phuket’s coral reefs

...right,also customs should check every Chinese tourist to make sure none of this sunscreens been s...(Read More)


US Govt shutdown prevents tsunami-warning buoy going live

I wounder who would be responsible right now if something would happen?...(Read More)


Layan lockout: Public access denied amid Supreme Court wrangle for B10bn beachfront land

Well, there is only fool out of the 60 milllion population who thinks, government action against no...(Read More)


New B25mn tsunami-warning buoy ‘to be operational tomorrow’

Not matter of being worried/panic when you live high/dry. A 1.5 year not working Tsunami buoy is no...(Read More)


TAT cultivates India as rich source of tourist arrivals

Westerners were the #1 tourists. 4 years ago, Thailand made changes to make things less desirable fo...(Read More)


TAT cultivates India as rich source of tourist arrivals

Have written it before, finished and scammed+++ Europeans and then it was Chinese next is Indian and...(Read More)


Sunscreen among contributing factors killing Phuket’s coral reefs

Sun-protection creams, soaps, shampoos during boat trips or during fishing for all professional fish...(Read More)


Tout dumps slow loris with tourist, evades arrest at Kata Beach

I think my know everything thai, has a very short, or damaged, memory, a very quick search throws th...(Read More)


Bad day in Phuket: Australian found hanged, Frenchman dies of heart attack

Not a good day for the police officers? I bet the two dead guys were not that happy about it either....(Read More)