President checks preparations to mitigate haze disaster

Palembang, S Sumatra (ANTARA News) - President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo arrived at Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport in Palembang, South Sumatra, on Sunday to check preparations to mitigate haze disaster in the province.

The President accompanied by National Defense Force (TNI) Chief General Gatot Nurmantyo, National Police Chief General Badrodin Haiti, and Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Board (BNPB) Syamsul Maarif arrived at the airport at around 10.00 a.m. by presidential flight. They were greeted by South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin.

Shortly after arriving at the airport, the President and entourage went straight to the meeting room at the airport to hold a closed-door meeting to coordinate forest and land fire mitigation efforts in the province.

According to the Presidential Bureau, the President wants the haze disaster to be handled quickly and properly.

The President and entourage later inspected the preparations made by haze disaster mitigation command post in Ogan Komering Ilir and Musi Banyuasin districts.

The BNPB said earlier land and forest fires affected the provinces of South Sumatra, Riau, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and South Kalimantan during this years drought.

President Jokowi told reporters that the closed-door meeting only discussed efforts to mitigate hotspots so that their impact will not spread.(*)