JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's state weather agency (BMKG) failed to predict that the effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon this year would be worse than in 1997, the country's security chief said on Wednesday.
"I must admit there was a mistake in the BMKG forecast that didn't predict El Nino this year would be worse than 1997. Our forecast was wrong," said security chief Luhut Panjaitan, who has been tasked by President Joko Widodo to handle the government's response to the disastrous situation.
Panjaitan was speaking at a press conference on fire-fighting efforts in the country. Nineteen people have died fighting the fires, and haze from the fires have blanketed much of Southeast Asia in recent months.
(Reporting by Bernadette Christina; Writing by Fergus Jensen; editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)