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Heavy smog covers northern Indonesia

Jakarta (CG). A heavy smog cloud on the Indonesian island of Borneo, created by forest fires and farmland, has reached dangerous proportions and is causing residents breathing difficulties and eye irritation - this is what official sources in the Kalimantan province said this week.
The authorities have admitted that the suffocating smog has reached proportions that endanger public health, although they have not yet deemed it necessary to close the schools. However, the students' activity outside the walls of the educational institutions was stopped.

The country's state news agency, "Antra", reported that in the capital of the district, located about 720 km northeast of Jakarta, residents are complaining of headaches, coughs and eye irritation.

The airport authorities on the island reported that the smog has become thicker in recent days, and that the worsening visibility endangers air traffic and causes disruptions in flights to and from the island for three consecutive days. The meteorological service reported that visibility reaches only 200 meters.

The fires in the forests and agricultural lands, which have been raging in recent days in the province of Kalimantan, are raising thick smoke, which is advancing towards the provinces of Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia, in the northern part of Borneo.

In 1999, a similar cloud of smog covered parts of Indonesia for several weeks, and hundreds of people were hospitalized for respiratory problems.

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