Forest fire in Ogan Ilir, South Sumatra province (Photo: Reuters/VNA)

 

Indonesian police have published a list of 240 individuals suspected of having set fire to forests and land, causing the haze disaster in the Sumatra and Kalimantan regions.

Indonesian Police Chief General Badrodin Haiti said police had detained a businessman involved in the palm oil sector who was the alleged mastermind behind the forest fires in Indonesia.

Police will continue investigating the case to unveil others involved in the mass blazes, he added.

Borodin Haiti said the disaster led to a critical situation with a widespread impact on health, society and the economy in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

Police also issued guidelines to local people and corporations to help them avoid burning anything in the fields and forests that could potentially lead to forest fires.

Additionally, the Indonesian Government is proposing a life insurance package for about 1.2 million people who were affected by the haze resulting from the forest fires.

Accordingly, each welfare card holder will receive cash assistance of 900,000 rupiah (about 64 USD).

According to Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), around 25.6 million Indonesians have been directly exposed to the haze and thousands of people are suffering from respiratory tract infections as a result.

On October 6, the Terra Aqua satellite of NASA detected 1,820 hotspots of land and forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan islands.-VNA