PALEMBANG, Indonesia – Two Russian multipurpose jets have arrived on Indonesia's Sumatra island to help douse massive forest fires that have caused widespread haze in parts of Southeast Asia.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho says the two Beriev Be-200 amphibious planes, leased by Indonesia's government, landed Wednesday in Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra province.
The planes, sent by Russia's Emergencies Ministry, can drop 12.5 tons of water. They can fly about 645 kilometers (400 miles) per hour and suck 13,250 liters (3,500 gallons) of water from a river or sea in seconds.
Indonesia has been unable to put out the rugged forest fires, especially in peat-rich provinces on Sumatra and Borneo.
The fires have created a thick, smoky haze in Indonesia as well as Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.