Nearby, Singapore and Malaysia have both choked in a dense haze all week, with air quality reaching unhealthy levels. Manila — Parts of the Visayas and Mindanao are seeing hazy skies amid neighboring Indonesia’s forest fires, officials said. However, the EMB has warned Sunday that intense forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan in recent weeks could cause “high levels of air pollution” to be blown towards the southern part of the Philippines in the coming days. The EMB’s regional offices are conducting air quality tests to determine whether pollution has reached dangerous levels. This would not be the first time that haze from Indonesia has reached the Philippines. In 2015, haze — made up of fine dust, smoke or light vapor that obscures part of the atmosphere — clouded southern Mindanao and reached all the way to Bohol. Air quality in the towns of General Santos City, Koronadal City and Tupi in South Cotabato was in “good and fair condition” as of Saturday. Health officials then warned that haze may lead to eye irritation, itchy and runny nose, sneezing, dry throat and coughs. The fires were allegedly caused by farmers using slash and burn techniques to clear the ecologically rich land — the same practice that led to uncontrollable fires in the Brazilian Amazon this summer. (CNN Philippines) Regional offices of the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) have confirmed the existence of haze in Central Visayas and SOCCSKSARGEN, but have not linked this directly to the Indonesia fires. Intense forest fires have raged across the Indonesian regions of Sumatra and Kalimantan in recent weeks. More than 930,000 hectares of land have been razed, hundreds of residents evacuated, and more than 9,000 personnel have been deployed to battle the flames, according to CNN Indonesia.
– at CorentyneBy Andrew CarmichaelPolice in Berbice are on the hunt for a man who allegedly shot a five-year-old and her grandmother after breaking into their home at Number 72 Village, Corentyne in the wee hours of Sunday.Police, in a press report, said the young girl and her grandmother had to seek medical attention at the Skeldon Hospital, where they were treated for alleged gunshot injuries – 13 pellets were removed from the child’s left leg, while the grandmother sustained injuries to her lower abdomen. The incident occurred at Section B, Number 72 Village Corentyne about 03:30h.The ladder that the suspect used to gain access to the inside of the building Investigations revealed that Savitri Hassan and her husband, Rajkumar, along with their granddaughter, were asleep on a mattress on the floor when they were roused by a loud explosion. Upon investigating, they saw a male, who is known to them, fleeing the house and it was then Hassan realised that she and the child were bleeding. The suspect is being sought, the Police release added.Savitri told Guyana Times that after the loud explosion, her granddaughter started to scream. She said at first it was believed that the girl was screaming out of fright, but later it was discovered that she was bleeding.Injured: Savitri HassanShe said the shooter ran out of the house using the back door, which was open.According to her husband, Rajkumar, he was able to recognise the shooter.He told this publication that he was awakened by the explosion and quickly got up as he realised that there was someone in the house.According to him, when he looked through the bedroom door, he saw a man who is known to him (his neighbour). According to Rajkumar, at the time there was light in the house enabling him to see clearly. There were five adults in the house along with the five-year-old and two babies at the time of the incident.According to the 47-year-old Rajkumar, the intruder used a ladder to climb through an opening between the top of the wall and the roof of the house to gain entry.Before the shot was fired, the suspect opened the back door of the house in order for him to have a quick escape.Rajkumar said that the house was destroyed by a fire in March 2014 and he was in the process of rebuilding it and he had a little more work to do in order to have it completed and secured.Meanwhile, his wife claimed that the suspect had made threats before and had burnt a clothes line in her yard previously.Those incidents were both reported to the Police and there was little action taken, the woman told this newspaper.According to her, the reports were made on October 21 and 22 at the Skeldon Police Station.She said three Community Policing Group (CPG) officers went to make the arrest and they were confronted by a cutlass-wielding man and had to abort the probe.Following an outburst by the suspect in October, Savitri said she enquired from her neighbour what the issue was and she was allegedly told that her husband was peeping at the suspect’s wife in their house.Guyana Times was taken to the backyard and shown the distance between the Hassan’s yard and the suspect’s house and also the high vegetation surrounding the house where the suspect lives.The woman explained that her husband was in the backyard on that day to patch holes in the fence in order to prevent his chickens from leaving the yard.Savitri says she is living in fear and is of the belief that had the Police acted on the initial reports, Sunday’s incident could have been avoided.She said even though it appeared that the Police have now taken serious action in making real efforts to apprehend the suspect, until they do and the suspect remains at large, the family would continue to live in fear.