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Indonesia upgrades death toll from haze to 19

Thick haze covers Palangkaraya on October 27, 2015, a city of 240,000 in Indonesia's central Kalimantan where respiratory illnesses have soared as the smog has worsened in recent weeksThe death toll from acrid haze blanketing parts of Indonesia has climbed to 19, a minister said on Wednesday, almost double the previous figure as the crisis from widespread forest fires worsens. For nearly two months, thousands of fires caused by slash-and-burn farming in Indonesia have choked vast expanses of Southeast Asia, forcing schools to close and scores of flights and some international events to be cancelled. Indonesia’s disaster agency previously stated the fires had killed 10 people, some of whom died while fighting the blazes and others from the pollution.

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