Monday, September 23, 2019
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Hundreds of schools shut as massive forest-fire haze blankets SE Asia

AFP
Jambi, Indonesia
Huge fires are raging across vast swathes of Indonesia’s rainforests -- some of the world’s biggest -- with toxic smog shutting hundreds of schools in Southeast Asia, officials said Tuesday.
Massive jungle areas in Sumatra and Borneo islands are ablaze as thousands of personnel battle to quell the fires, frequently started to clear land for crop plantations.
Burning forests to make way for farming is also thought to be behind the enormous fires currently ripping through the Amazon in South America, and experts believe they could have a serious impact on the global climate. In Indonesia the number of hotspots -- areas at risk of fires -- has soared in parts, including on Borneo which the country shares with Malaysia and Brunei.
Air quality has dropped to “unhealthy” levels in and around Kuala Lumpur, according to the government’s air pollutant index, and the skyline has been shrouded in thick smog.

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