Land And Forest Fires Not A National Disaster: Minister

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo said the status of fires in several regions in Indonesia have yet to be raised the status of a national disaster. "I think it is not necessary because only Sumatra, Banten, and some areas in Kalimantan [are burning],” he said at the Senayan Parliament Complex, on Wednesday, September 9, 2015.

    The Ministry of Home Affairs, Tjahjo said, had instructed regents and governors of affected areas to give strict sanctions to arsonists, especially for companies with plantations in the burned area.

    “We have instructed through radiogram to all governors, regents and mayors to take action against persons involved in the forest and land burning. They were also asked not to give opportunities for unauthorized migrants potentially damaging land and take firm action through legal remedies," said Tjahjo. “The sanction is getting their permits revoked."

    Catastrophic fires continue to spread. Central Kalimantan government had raised the status to emergency response from previously at emergency preparedness. Acting Governor of Central Kalimantan Hadi Prabowo said fire disaster in the province still occurs and cause a number of flights to be delayed.

    The haze has also hit Pekanbaru recently, despite declining number of fire hotspots in Sumatra. Based on Terra and Aqua satellites observations on Tuesday, 39 hotspots were detected in Sumatra, far lower compared Monday with 413 points.

    INDRI MAULIDAR