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Haze returns to Indonesia's Sumatra, disrupts flights

Jakarta - Thick smog from forest and brush fires blanketed parts of Indonesia's Sumatra island on Tuesday, disrupting flights and forcing authorities to close schools, officials said.

Visibility was down to 500 metres at the Sultan Syarief Kasim airport in Riau province early Tuesday, causing delays in several flight arrivals and departures, said airport official Baiquni.

Flights returned to normal at 10:30 am (0330 GMT), he said.

More than 200 schools in Riau’s Siak district were closed because of the thick smoke, the head of the local education office, Kadri Yafis, told the state news agency Antara.

"The air is not healthy for children," he said.

Smoke from forest fires on Sumatra is an annual hazard that often affects neighbouring Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

DPA


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