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  • » 10/28/2015, 00.00


    Indonesia compensates haze emergency victims, begins evacuation

    The government plans to pay victims’ families 15 million rupiahs (US$ 1,100) in compensation. So far, 19 haze-related deaths have been confirmed. At least 425,700 people have had respiratory problems. Transport Ministry is deploying 16 ships to evacuate the most affected islands.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Indonesia’s Social Affairs Minister Indar Parawansa announced that the government would compensate the families of those who died from the haze that has endangered public health and chocked parts of the country in recent weeks.

    Those entitled will receive death benefits in the form of a cash transfer of 15 million rupees (about US$ 1,100) upon presentation of a medical certificate indicating that the victim died from respiratory problems associated with smog or other air pollution-related diseases.

    So far, Indonesian authorities have recognised 19 victims from the haze crisis in Sumatra and Kalimantan, the hardest hit areas. According to Minister Indar Parawansa, four families have already been compensated.

    For weeks, the haze caused by man-made fires has upset the life of ordinary people in various parts of the country. Transportation has been disrupted and schools have been closed. In some provinces, the pollution level is ten times the acceptable limit.

    According to Indonesia’s Health Ministry, at least 425,700 people have suffered respiratory problems because of the smoke.

    A few days ago, the authorities launched the country’s biggest operation to combat fires with few tangible results so far.

    For its part, the Transport Ministry is deploying 16 civilian ships in the rescue operation. Ministry spokesman J.A. Barata said that the government has at its disposal seven KPLP* ships (each with room for 159 people), seven ferries (100 people) and two PELNI** ships (1,000 people). KPLP ships are already in port in Dumai (Sumatra) and the Strait of Singapore.

    "Crews, fuel, medical supplies and staff are ready,” Barata added. Evacuees will “be receive medical care first. Later they will be moved within the island, eventually to other, safer islands. Local authorities will be in charge of ordering the evacuation.” Passenger terminals, warehouses, and harbour facilities will be used to shelter refugees.

    * KPLP: Kesatuan Penjagaan Laut Dan Pantai is Indonesia’s Coast Guard

    ** PELNI: Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia is the national shipping company of Indonesia.

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    See also

    24/10/2015 INDONESIA
    Haze emergency pushes Jakarta to prepare mass evacuations
    No date has been set yet, but children and seniors will be the first to go in the most affected provinces. In some areas, pollution is ten times the accepted level.

    22/12/2015 INDONESIA
    Government punishes companies responsible for forest fires
    Some 23 companies have been sanctioned, some losing their license, for setting fire to clear forests to plant palm oil trees and trees for pulp and paper companies. The resulting smoke and haze have interfered with travel and caused respiratory problems in half a million people. The crisis is set to cut GDP by 1.9 per cent.

    21/09/2016 14:49:00 INDONESIA
    US researchers report 100,000 haze-related deaths due to fires in Indonesia

    A study by researchers from Harvard and Columbia University shows the damages caused by last year’s haze emergency in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. The study presents data on excess adult mortality caused by PM 2.5. Indonesia’s Environment Ministry has not yet commented. Malaysia has rejected the finding. “We didn’t find any increase in the number of acute respiratory ailments”.

    03/11/2015 INDONESIA – ASEAN
    As Indonesia breathes again, ASEAN prepares an anti-fire plan
    Recent precipitation reduced pollution below dangerous levels in many of the most affected cities. In Hanoi, ASEAN environment ministers adopt a five-year roadmap to curb haze in the region. For ASEAN permanent secretary, “making ASEAN a haze-free area by 2020 is somewhat unrealistic,” but the regional body’s members will “address the pollution problem together”.

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    50m high smoke column billowing from crater. Increasing frequency in tremors and lava activity. With ash emissions in the atmosphere, airborne flights across the region are at risk. Fears for tourism industry.

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