Air pollution has worsened most especially in Riau, regarded as the ‘ground zero’ of the haze disaster. More than 33,300 residents of Riau have already suffered acute respiratory tract infection because of the haze. A bigger number of residents, including children, has been diagnosed with asthma and cough.
The fire is caused by the deliberate burning of forests mainly by corporate agricultural plantations. Big farmers are also accused of causing the ‘perpetual’ burning of forests because of their pollutive tilling methods.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) explained that the forest fire is both a natural and man-made disaster:
Kebakaran ladang & asap ini di samping disebabkan oleh cuaca yg ekstrim, juga karena ada penduduk & perusahaan yg membakar ladang. *SBY*
— S. B. Yudhoyono (@SBYudhoyono) March 13, 2014
The fire and smoke was not only caused by extreme weather, but also by the local people and companies who tried to burn the land. *SBY*
The ongoing fire disaster is also expected to affect Indonesia’s oil supply since Riau accounts for 30 to 40 percent of the national oil production.
— Jeanne (@jeanneross) March 15, 2014
— JuLiana Sitindaon (@Jueluvpidi) March 13, 2014
— Jerry (@jerryzhng) March 15, 2014
— KYUHYUN'S WIFE ε˘`)♥ (@Kyuteukbi) March 13, 2014
i know how hard it is to live in a place with bad situation and you can't go anywhere because you can't see anything outside #PrayForRiau
— Dyah Puspa Arum (@DyahPuspaAruum) March 15, 2014
we deserve to be awarded as the no 1 city with the worst hazardous haze in the world and the president doesnt give a damn. #RiauHaze
— Dedy Ong #RiauHaze (@OngDedy) March 12, 2014
5% oxygen only. What a horrible situation it is #PrayForRiau
— Wijaya.A.Lutfi (@LutfiAfansyah) March 15, 2014
This is not the doom of the Gods. But at the hands of people who are not responsible. #PrayForRiau
— Miftahul Jannah (@miftahulmitaa) March 13, 2014
— satria putra (@satria_pku) March 13, 2014