Riau declares haze emergency as API exceeds 500

JAKARTA (CNA) – Indonesia’s Riau province has declared a haze emergency as the Air Pollutant Index (API) in the region exceeded the 500 mark.

Riau governor Syamsuar declared the state of emergencyuntil October 31.

The air quality in Riau and Jambi provinces in Indonesia has been categorised as very unhealthy since September 13.

An API reading of 301 and above falls into the hazardous category.

About 280 Malaysian students in Pekanbaru and Jambi will be evacuated following the declaration of a state of emergency, according to Malaysia’s National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA).

Of these, 160 students will return to Malaysia while 120 will be evacuated to Malaysia Hall in Jakarta, said the Malaysian disaster management agency.

In all, 183 students will be evacuated from Pekanbaru and 97 from Jambi.

Indonesian firefighters battle a forest fire in Kampar, Riau. PHOTO: AFP