An aerial view of Bengkulu where toxic haze is seen blanketing the province in southern Sumatra on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

Bengkulu Schools to Stay Open Despite Haze


OCTOBER 07, 2015

Bengkulu. Even though haze continues to blanket the province, the Bengkulu government is insisting that schools across the region remain open as officials claim the toxic smog has yet to disrupt students' activities.

"The smoke covering Bengkulu comes from neighboring provinces, where there are forest fires," Atisar Sulaiman, Bengkulu's head of education, said on Wednesday.

Atisar added that the haze appeared only in the early mornings and evenings.

"So, students' learning activities remain unaffected by the haze," he said.

Masdar, head of the Rejang Lebong Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), echoed Atisar's sentiments, saying that the smog had thickened but light rain showers managed to clear the air.

In the first few days of Rejang Lebong district's haze crisis, Masdar said his office distributed 2,500 masks to students and local residents to prevent respiratory ailments.

Indonesia's climate and meteorology agency recorded fewer hot spots in Bengkulu, compared neighboring provinces Riau and Jambi, where satellites detected more than 140.