Halong Bay boats in hot water

March 13, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

QUANG NINH, 13 March 2017: Six tourist cruise boats in Halong and Bai Tu Long bays have been permanently beached by the People’s Committee of Quang Ninh province’s Halong City.

Local media reported the action was taken, last week, to restore a positive image for Halong Bay cruises after several boat fires in recent years.

Five of the six banned boats, coded Hung Long QN-1156, Hoa Phuong 02 QN-4239, White Dolphine QN-4894, Sunrise QN-2287 and Aphrodite 11 QN-6299, were damaged by fires during the last two years. They are not allowed to return to service despite having undergone repairs. Read more

Fire safety on Vietnam agenda

November 25, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY, 25 November 2016: Ho Chi Minh City authorities have begun a comprehensive inspection of fire safety regulations at all entertainment facilities across the city.

Tuoi Tre News reported the municipal People’s Committee has executed a plan aimed at examining fire prevention systems at establishments that cater to large crowds including international tourists.

The comprehensive inspection will run up to January next year. Read more

Indonesia in haze warning as fires flare

August 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Indonesia, News

SINGAPORE, 22 August, 2016: Indonesia warned, Friday, that haze from forest fires was floating over a key waterway towards its neighbours, and that the number of blazes was rising.

The fires and resulting smog are an annual dry season problem in the archipelago, when blazes are started illegally to quickly and cheaply clear land, typically to make way for palm oil and pulpwood plantations.

But last year’s haze outbreak was among the worst in memory, shrouding Malaysia, Singapore and parts of Thailand in acrid smoke. The crisis forced school closures and caused thousands to fall sick across the region. Read more

Fires burn Indonesia’s economy

December 16, 2015 by  
Filed under Indonesia, News, Southeast Asia

JAKARTA, 16 December 2015: Indonesia’s economy took an USD16-billion hit this year from forest fires that cloaked Southeast Asia in haze.

It was more than double the sum spent on rebuilding Aceh after the 2004 tsunami, the World Bank said Tuesday.

The fires and resulting haze are an annual occurrence caused by slash-and-burn land clearance mainly instigated by corporations in the palm oil and paper industries. Read more

Indonesia’s fires a regional disaster

October 22, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Singapore

SINGAPORE, 22 October 2015: Indonesian forest and agricultural fires cloaking Southeast Asia in acrid haze are spewing more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere each day than all US economic activity, according to an environmental watchdog.

The shock assessment came as Jakarta said the number of blazes was increasing across the archipelago despite a multinational fire-fighting effort, and announced plans to deploy more water-bombing aircraft.

Although the pollution factor fell below 100 this week in Singapore, tourism officials attending the ITB Asia admitted the haze had hit tourism in neighbouring Malaysia as visitors from neighbouring countries and India cancelled travel bookings.

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Indonesia’s fires upset neighbours

October 8, 2015 by  
Filed under Indonesia, News

SINGAPORE, 8 October 2015: Phuket known for its clear vistas of the Andaman Sea and beautiful beaches is covered in smog blown in from thousands of forest fires on Indonesia’s Sumatra island.

Phuket’s provincial health officials reported the health hazard caused by the deliberate burning of forests in Indonesia was a health hazard particularly children and the elderly.

The smog has drifted from Indonesia to cover Singapore and Malaysia as well as parts of South Thailand. It is expected to remain until there is a switch in the prevailing monsoon winds from southwest to Northeast.

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Indonesia’s fires smother neighbours

September 28, 2015 by  
Filed under Malaysia, News

KUALA LUMPUR, 28 September 2015: Thick white smoke from Indonesian slash-and-burn farming enveloped Malaysia’s capital and other areas Sunday, triggering school closures for the following day as weeks of choking haze showed no sign of abating.

Pollution readings in Kuala Lumpur soared into the “very unhealthy” territory in the Malaysian government’s hourly air-quality index.

The Ministry of Education ordered schools shut on Monday in the capital and three states due to health concerns, the second time this month it has had to issue such an order.

Read more