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Haze Returns, Affects Flights in Western Indonesia

28 August 2013

Smoke from illegal fires set to clear land, including for plantations, has blanketed parts of Riau Province in western Indonesia and disrupted flight operations, an official said on Tuesday. A total of 264 hotspots were detected by satellite across the province on Sumatra island, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. He said a thick haze is covering Pekanbaru, the province’s capital, hampering flights to and from its airport. Visibility has been reduced to less than 50 meters in some districts. In June, acrid air choked Malaysia and Singapore, which suffered its worst recorded level of air pollution.—AP