The Jakarta Post
The Tanahdatar regency administration in West Sumatra suspended school activities on Wednesday due to the thick and choking haze blanketing the city over the last few days.
'As air pollution has reached a very hazardous level, the authorities are forced to send students home from several schools so as to protect their health,' Tanahdatar Regent M. Sadiq Pasadigoe said on Wednesday as quoted by Antara news agency.
Desrizal, spokesman of Tanahdatar regency administration, said that all students from kindergartens to senior high schools had been instructed to remain at home.
"The school closures will be from Thursday to Saturday. If the haze problem worsens, the closures will be extended," he said.
Sadiq said that the thick haze in the regency was sparked by uncontrolled peatland and forest fires in neighboring Riau province.
The thick haze has disrupted the daily activities of local people with visibility dropping sharply and many residents suffering from respiratory illnesses.
'We've asked the residents to reduce outdoor activities,' said Sadiq, adding that he would encourage residents to pray for rains on Friday. (yln)
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