The Jakarta Post
The number of hot spots in Riau has increased significantly from 78 to 261, according to the latest satellite observation.
Head of Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) information and data Slamet Riyadi said most of the hotspots were spotted in Bengkalis Regency with 127 spots, followed by Pelalawan Regency with 59 spots, Siak with 44 spots and Indragiri Hilir with 25 spots.
He added that a lesser number of hot spots were also seen in Rokan Hilir, Indragiri Hulu, Kampar and Pekanbaru city.
'The hotspots are seen in eight out of 12 regencies in the province,' he said.
He then warned that the number would keep growing as the province had entered its first phase of the dry season. He said this condition would likely last until mid-March.
'After that we will experience some rain closely followed by the second phase of the dry season,' he said.
Despite the entire province being blanketed by hot spots, Slamet said that the haze would not reach neighboring countries like Malaysia and Singapore in the immediate future.
'Malaysia and Singapore will be safe from the haze. The spread of the haze is so far only local,' he said.
Commenting on this, Riau Health Agency head Zainal Arifin said he had prepared a stock of 500,000 masks although there had been no request from regencies/cities hit by the haze.
'To date, everything is still within our reach. However we must be well prepared at all times,' he said.
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