Dumai airport cancels two flights due to haze

Dumai, Riau province (ANTARA News) - Dumai city`s airport in Riau province cancels two flights here on Wednesday due to thick haze from the forest fire that hit the area, the airport management`s spokesman, Catur Hargowo, said.

"Current visibility at the airport is below 1,000 meters due to haze. Therefore we are cancelling two flights today namely from Sky Aviation and Pelita Air," he said.

However Catur said the airport will not be closed down. "We only cancels two flights which will carry regular passengers and employees of oil company Pertamina and Chevron," he added.

Meanwhile Dumai city`s Chief of Forestry Office Hadiyono said his staff are still trying to extinguish the forest fire which happen in various locations in the city," he said.

Meanwhile Marjoko Santoso, the head of the Dumai health office, said haze from forest fire in Sumatra has increased the number of respiratory problem cases in Dumai, Riau Province, over the past few weeks.

In the early June 2013, the number of respiratory problems was 351 cases and increased to 393 cases now.

The increase reached around four to five percent every week and 0.8 to one percent per day, he said.

He urged Dumai residents particularly children, pregnant women, senior citizens and asthma patients, to stay indoor when the city is being covered by haze.

The Dumai health office has distributed 25,000 face masks to people on streets.

Some 138 hot spots from forest fire were detected across Sumatra Island, an increase from 83 hot spots on the previous day.(*)