Thick haze from Indonesian forest fires ​affects the air quality in Singapore (Source:AFP/VNA)

 

Indonesia is investigating 10 firms over worsening forest fires that have created a blanket of smog over Southeast Asia, according to the country’s authorities.

Indonesian Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said companies could face sanctions if found violating their permits.

On the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan, large forest concessions are used by pulp and paper and palm oil companies who have been criticized by green groups for not doing enough to stop the haze and rampant deforestation.

Affects from prolonged droughts have caused forest fires in the islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan, Java and Sulawesi, burning about 130 hectares of forests.

Thick haze from the forest fires have led to flight delays and cancellations in Sumatra and Kalimantan due to low visibility.

It also pushed the air quality to unhealthy levels in the neighbouring country of Singapore and Malaysia.-VNA