It’s been weeks that smoke from huge forest fires in Indonesian has created a cloud of smog over the country, which has spread over neighboring Singapore and Malaysia. The fires, which happen every year, are caused by slash-and-burn clearances on the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan.
As of Oct 22, 2015, the National Board of Disaster Management (BNPB) stated that there are still 2,742 hotspots in Indonesia detected. 744 hotspots are in Papua, 703 are in South Sumatra, 462 are in Central Kalimantan, 290 are in West Kalimantan, and 153 are in East Kalimantan. Thick smog is still reported from Sumatra, Kalimantan, and some parts of Papua. It is reported that the air quality in Riau, Jambi, West Kalimantan, and Central Kalimantan is at a dangerous level.
The Ministry of Health in Indonesia has reported that 10 people have died and 272,001 people suffer from Upper Respiratory Tract Infections from August to September 2015. South Sumatra is considered as the most affected areas with 101,332 cases.
KARINA has distributed more or less 200,000 masks to affected areas through dioceses. It has also bought 500 oxygen and 5,000 masks ready to be distributed. The diocese of Palangkarya, Central Kalimantan has just opened safe houses to evacuate the most vulnerable people affected by the haze.