Tuesday, September 2, 2014   

(Flight MH370) Indonesia smog hinders search, 15 carriers halt flights
(03-13 16:51)

Heavy smoke from illegal fires lighted to clear land for plantations has blanketed parts of Indonesia's Sumatra island, disrupting flights and hampering search efforts for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, officials and a pilot said.
Forest and brush fires have raged for the past week, mostly in peat-rich Riau province, forcing schools to close. Children and the elderly are filling up local clinics and hospitals, complaining of respiratory problems.
State-run Garuda Indonesia and 15 other airlines have canceled flights to and out of Pekanbaru, airport official Ibnu Hasan said.
Forty-six hotspots were detected by satellite today across Riau province, down sharply from 168 yesterday, said Raffles Brotestes Panjaitan, the Forestry Ministry's director of Forest Fire Control. As much as 13,000 hectares of land in Riau has been burned since early last month, according to government estimates.
Panjaitan said a thick haze was covering Pekanbaru, the provincial capital of Riau and the nearest city to the fires, sending a cloud of smoke to the neighboring provinces of Jambi and West Sumatra. Visibility was reduced to less than 50 meters in some districts.
The smoke was also hampering Indonesian navy pilots searching for the missing Malaysian jetliner over the Malacca Strait, said Major Laksono, a Cassa C-212 pilot involved in the search.
“We had to fly below 500 feet to avoid clouds of smoke,'' said Laksono, who like many Indonesians uses one name. “But overall, the search went smoothly.''--AP

   
Other China breaking news:
Former Chongqing senior legislator expelled from party (11 mins ago)
2 dead in Heilongjiang shopping mall blaze (13 mins ago)
Shandong officials investigated for taking bribes (43 mins ago)
H5N6 bird flu outbreak at Harbin farm (1 hr 1 min ago)
Beijing blasts UK for inquiry into Hong Kong (1 hr 26 mins ago)
Harbin inmates kill guard, break out of jail (1 hr 39 mins ago)
Shanxi official faces graft probe (09-01 15:18)
Two killed in knife attack at Hubei school (09-01 15:11)
12 missing after Chongqing landslide (09-01 12:11)
WeChat closes, suspends hundreds of accounts (08-29 18:26)

More breaking news >>

© 2014 The Standard, The Standard Newspapers Publishing Ltd.
Contact Us | About Us | Newsfeeds | Subscriptions | Print Ad. | Online Ad. | Street Pts

 


Home | Top News | Local | Business | China | ViewPoint | CityTalk | World | Sports | People | Central Station | Spree | Features

The Standard

Trademark and Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014, The Standard Newspaper Publishing Ltd., and its related entities. All rights reserved.  Use in whole or part of this site's content is prohibited.   Use of this Web site assumes acceptance of the
Terms of Use, Privacy Policy Statement and Copyright Policy.  Please also read our Ethics Statement.