The smog spreads

Published: Monday 15 December 1997

smog from the forest fires that have been raging in the Indonesian provinces of Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Irian Jaya and Java for the last three-four months has spread to five more Indonesian cities. At the beginning of November, 25 cities in the country were covered by the smog. By the second week of the month, the figure stood at 30. "More cities are covered with smog. Zero visibility was reported in Jambi, Sumatra. In general, the smog still persists," said an official at Jakarta's smog control bureau.

The latest data recieved from the us National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( noaa ) revealed that the number of "hot spots" in areas affected by the forest fires was 40. "Identifying the hot spots has been difficult due to the smog. The provinces of Jambi, South Sumatra and Lampung are almost completely covered by the smog," the official said. The official Antara news agency reported on November 6 that at least 12 people, most of them elderly, had died of respiratory problems in Jambi, which has been covered by the smog for the last three months.

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