The Jakarta Post
Thick smoke filling the air in Jambi province in Sumatra prevented a plane carrying Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin from landing at Sutan Thaha Syaifuddin Airport in Jambi on Thursday. The plane was redirected to land at Hang Nadin Airport on Batam Island, Riau Islands province.
'The Garuda Indonesia plane taking Minister Lukman Harun failed to land at the airport. Other planes also could not land because the vision was reportedly less than 1,200 meters,' said Jambi provincial administration spokesman Junaidi as quoted by Antara.
Lukman, who was on an official visit to the province, was scheduled to arrive at the airport, where acting governor Irman and other officials had been waiting since 7 a.m. to welcome him. Lukman was scheduled to arrive at 7:30 a.m.
Meanwhile, the Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) reported that the number of hot spots in Jambi increased to 299 on Thursday from 107 on Tuesday. BMKG information official Kurnia Ningsih said that the condition was based on the monitoring carried out at 5 a.m.
Head of Jambi Disaster Management Ageny Arif Munandar said fire fighters found it difficult to extinguish the fire as the forest fire spread rapidly.
He said that the firefighting had also involved military officers and other volunteers, but water bombing from the air would be helpful.
He called on local governments to send letters of recommendation to the governors so that the provincial administration could immediately ask the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) to take part in the forest fire fighting. 'We need quick action to demand water bombing and help from the central government,' Arift added.' (bbn)(++++)
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