Over 500,000 Indonesians suffer haze-related acute respiratory infection

Over 500,000 Indonesians suffer haze-related acute respiratory infection

31 October 2015

published by www.todayonline.com

Indonesia– More than 500,000 Indonesians are suffering from acute respiratory infection after having been exposed to fire-induced haze for months, the Natural Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has said.

“There are 529,527 residents living in Sumatra and Kalimantan who have been suffering from the disease. In Jambi, there are 129,229 people,,. 115,484 in South Sumatera, 98,029 in South Kalimantan, 79,888 in Riau, 60,225 in Central Kalimantan, and lastly 46,672 in West Kalimantan,” BNPB’s spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said yesterday (Oct 30), as quoted by metrotvnews.com.

Those six provinces declared a state of emergency because of the haze months ago.

Mr Nugroho said the number of people affected is actually much higher, as not everybody seeks professional help.

People in the hardest-hit parts of the country are being evacuated to shelters set up by the BNPB and its local branches, and the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), as efforts to quell the flames continue.

Adding to mounting pressure on the Indonesian government to step up its efforts, the BNPB has called the disaster a “crime against humanity of extraordinary proportions”.

President Joko Widodo recently cut short his state visit to the United States to personally oversee haze mitigation efforts in the affected regions.

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