Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) head Dwikorita Karnawati, right, said strong winds last week prevented smoke from Indonesia reaching Malaysia. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry)

Indonesia Denies Responsibility for Haze Affecting Malaysia

BY : TELLY NATHALIA

SEPTEMBER 10, 2019

Jakarta. Satellite images prove that the haze that affected Malaysia late last week did not originate from Indonesia, the national weather bureau said on Tuesday.

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said the satellite images also showed an increase in the number of active fires in the region, mainly in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.

"Based on images from the Himawari-8 satellite and a Geohotspot analysis by the BMKG, smoke on the Malaysian Peninsula on Sept. 5-7 came from local fires," agency head Dwikorita Karnawati said in Jakarta.

Images from the Himawari-8 and Sentinel satellites also showed an increase in the number of fires in early September did not occur in Indonesia, but on the Malaysian Peninsula and in Vietnam, and that this had been responsible for the recent haze.

Dwikorita said strong winds prevented smoke from Indonesia reaching Malaysia.

"Haze from Sumatra did not cross the Malacca Strait, as it was blocked by strong winds," she said, adding that haze from Malaysia's Sarawak and Indonesia's West Kalimantan – both on Borneo Island – was pushed out over the South China Sea.

The government issued the statement in response to accusations by Malaysia and Singapore that haze affected them recently was caused by forest fires in Indonesia.

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