Sky turns blood red in Indonesia

An elder villager gets a dose of oxygen from a Red Cross volunteer outside his home in Jambi

A province in Indonesia turned bright red over the weekend as forest fires continue to burn throughout the country and air quality levels plummet.

Haze occurs annually during the dry spell between July and October due to open burning in Indonesia and to lesser extent, parts of Malaysia.

"With the close cooperation of all parties involved, the Malaysian government is confident of getting all its citizens out of the haze emergency area as soon as possible", said Nadma.

In order for a red sky to occur aerosols must be present in the air, A. R. Ravishankara, a US -based scientist was cited in an article posted on the website of Scientific American.

The terrifying haze appeared over Jambi province, in central Sumatra, leading residents to compare Earth to Mars. This is not in outer space.

"In the smoke haze, the most abundant particles are around one micrometre in size, but these particles do not change the colour of the light we see", he said.

This, combined with smaller particles, are enough to "give an extra tendency to scatter red light more in the forward and backward directions than blue light".

CAMS says the air quality in the span from August 1 to September 18 of this year is thought to be "equally as poor" as the 2015 fires, which were considered to be particularly devastating for Indonesia and surrounding South Asian nations.

Helen Reid of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology told SBS News it was not unusual for skies to appear red after fires and volcanic eruptions, especially during sunrise and sunset.

Part of the problem is caused by big corporations and farmers, who use a slash-and-burn technique to clear land for palm oil, pulp and paper plantations.

The NADMA statement also said Riau governor Syamsuar had declared a state of emergency beginning Sept 23 until Oct 31, and this may be extended if the air pollution situation does not improve.

The republic's media pleaded with Jakarta last week to accept aid from Malaysia and Singapore to fight the fires, stressing that Indonesia needed "all the help we can get".



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