The haze covering Riau, due to land and forest fires, have cost the province Rp50trillion, says Coordinator of the Environmental Study Centre at Riau University, Dr. Suwondo M.S.
“The losses amount to Rp50trillion and come from disruptions in sectors of trade, service, culinary, and agriculture as well as flight delays,” Suwondo said in Pekanbaru. He further elaborated that the haze has triggered losses in all sectors, especially the economy, social, ecological, agricultural, farming, and services areas. Current figures reveal that Riau might suffer similar losses as when there were devastating wildfires in 2015.
“If this year’s haze disaster lasts longer or is similar to that of the haze in 2015, it will be more harmful, and Riau will suffer economic losses of over Rp120trillion, as happened in 2015,” he added.
According to his research, wildfires engulfed 500,000 hectares of land in 2015, while the amount of forest and land burned has reached 300,000 hectares so far this year. Earlier, hundreds of schools were closed in Malaysia due to the haze going over from Riau.
Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, and Johor province in Malaysia have been badly affected. Poor air quality has also been reported in many areas of Singapore.