Thick smoke blanketed four regencies and municipalities in Riau, reducing the visibility to only 400-800 meters on Monday morning.
'Pelalawan is the area with the worst visibility, reaching only 400 meters, followed by Pekanbaru [500 meters], Dumai [700 meters] and Rengat Indragiri Hulu [800 meters],' Pekanbaru Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) head Sugarin said as quoted by Antara in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Based on satellite imagery results at 7 a.m. local time on Wednesday, the BMKG Pekanbaru said there were 134 hot spots, which were spread across 11 regencies and municipalities in Riau.
Sugarin said Pelalawan had the highest number of hot spots, which reached 36, followed by Indragiri Hilir (24) and Indragiri Hulu (16). Meanwhile, Kampar and Kuantan Singingi had nine hot spots each. Rokan Hulu and Siak had three hot spots each while Bengkalis and Meranti reported two hot spots and one hot spot, respectively.
Sugarin said smoke had blanketed several areas in Riau since August.
Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency head Edwar Sanger said the thick smoke shrouding Riau was from land and forest fires occurring in the area and its surrounding provinces, namely Jambi and South Sumatra.
A number of flights departing from Pekanbaru experienced delays on Wednesday morning due to low visibility in the region.
The head of state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II office at Sultan Syarif Kasim Airport in Pekanbaru, Dani Indra, said that at 7:45 a.m. local time, four airlines experienced delays: Lion Air, Garuda Indonesia, Citilink and Air Asia. (nov/ebf)