2013 Southeast Asian haze

From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

Satellite image of 2013 Southeast Asian haze - 20130619

2013 Southeast Asian haze

The 2013 Southeast Asian haze was a significant air pollution crisis that affected several countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and parts of Thailand. The haze was primarily caused by widespread forest fires in Sumatra, Indonesia, which were largely attributed to illegal slash-and-burn practices used to clear land for palm oil and pulpwood plantations.

Causes[edit | edit source]

The primary cause of the 2013 Southeast Asian haze was the illegal slash-and-burn method of clearing land, which is a common practice in Indonesia. This method involves setting fire to forested areas to clear land for agricultural purposes, particularly for the cultivation of palm oil and pulpwood. The fires, exacerbated by dry weather conditions, produced large amounts of smoke and particulate matter, which were carried by the wind to neighboring countries.

Affected Areas[edit | edit source]

The haze affected several countries in Southeast Asia, with the most severe impact felt in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

  • Indonesia: The source of the haze, particularly from the provinces of Riau and Jambi in Sumatra.
  • Malaysia: The haze caused significant air quality deterioration, leading to school closures and health advisories.
  • Singapore: The haze resulted in record-high Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) levels, prompting the government to issue health warnings and distribute N95 masks to the public.
  • Thailand: Southern parts of Thailand also experienced reduced air quality due to the haze.

Health Impacts[edit | edit source]

The haze had severe health impacts on the populations of the affected countries. The high levels of particulate matter in the air led to an increase in respiratory problems, such as asthma and bronchitis. Vulnerable groups, including the elderly, children, and those with pre-existing health conditions, were particularly at risk.

Government Responses[edit | edit source]

Governments in the affected countries took various measures to address the crisis:

  • Indonesia: The Indonesian government deployed thousands of personnel to combat the fires and implemented stricter enforcement of laws against illegal burning.
  • Malaysia: The Malaysian government declared a state of emergency in affected areas and distributed face masks to the public.
  • Singapore: The Singaporean government provided free N95 masks to vulnerable populations and worked with Indonesian authorities to address the root causes of the haze.

Environmental Impact[edit | edit source]

The 2013 Southeast Asian haze had significant environmental impacts, including the destruction of large areas of rainforest and peatland in Sumatra. The fires also released large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.

Long-term Solutions[edit | edit source]

Efforts to prevent future haze crises include:

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]



Navigation: Wellness - Encyclopedia - Health topics - Disease Index‏‎ - Drugs - World Directory - Gray's Anatomy - Keto diet - Recipes

Search WikiMD

Ad.Tired of being Overweight? Try W8MD's physician weight loss program.
Semaglutide (Ozempic / Wegovy and Tirzepatide (Mounjaro / Zepbound) available.
Advertise on WikiMD

WikiMD is not a substitute for professional medical advice. See full disclaimer.

Credits:Most images are courtesy of Wikimedia commons, and templates Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY SA or similar.

Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD