A new report from researchers at Harvard and Columbia suggests the haze pollution in Southeast Asia last year caused over 100,000 premature deaths. Farmers and land-owners across Indonesia use fires to clear land and prepare it for cultivation, and the practice is frequently connected to clearing land for palm oil plantations.

The Government of Singapore has put together some health advice for those in the region – we have included this below, alongside a couple of links to maps that track the haze and pollution.

From the Guardian

Haze from Indonesian fires may have killed more than 100,000 people – study

A smog outbreak in Southeast Asia last year may have caused over 100,000 premature deaths, according to a new study released Monday that triggered calls for action to tackle the “killer haze”.

Researchers from Harvard and Columbia universities in the US estimated there were more than 90,000 early deaths in Indonesia in areas closest to haze-belching fires, and several thousand more in neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia.

The new estimate, reached using a complex analytical model, is far higher than the previous official death toll given by authorities of just 19 deaths in Indonesia.

Please click here to read more.

Health advice

From the FCO

Foreign travel advice – Indonesia

During the dry season (May-November), widespread forest fires can cause smoke haze resulting in poor air quality across parts of Indonesia, particularly Riau Islands, central Sumatra and Kalimantan. The haze can cause disruption to local and regional air travel, and the air pollution may have an impact on public health. Keep up to date with local information and seek medical advice on appropriate precautions. A regional haze map is available from the Singapore Meteorological Service.

Please click here to read more.

You can also view an updated smoke haze map on the ASEAN Haze Action Online website.

This advice page from the National Environment Agency in Singapore has further information on what to do/not do if you are in the region.

This microsite has further useful information, including this graphic on when activities should be limited

Health advice relating to the haze in Southeast Asia


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