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Jakarta Post

Thick haze still lingers, though hot spots decrease

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, September 19, 2015   /  04:36 pm
Thick haze still lingers, though hot spots decrease Motorists commute along a road shrouded in haze in Kampar, Riau province on Sept.18, 2015. Southeast Asia has been enveloped in choking haze from agricultural fires in Indonesia over the past fortnight, prompting flight cancellations, closing schools and raising fears this weekend's glitzy Formula One night race in Singapore could be affected. (AFP/Adek Berry) (AFP/Adek Berry)

Motorists commute along a road shrouded in haze in Kampar, Riau province on Sept.18, 2015. Southeast Asia has been enveloped in choking haze from agricultural fires in Indonesia over the past fortnight, prompting flight cancellations, closing schools and raising fears this weekend's glitzy Formula One night race in Singapore could be affected. (AFP/Adek Berry)

The number of hot spots in Sumatra and Kalimantan has decreased over the last few days, yet the haze from forest and land fires remains fairly thick, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

'€œVisibility is still low and the average air quality is unhealthy,'€ said BNPB head Sutopo Purwo Nugroho on Friday as quoted by Antara news agency.

The Terra and Aqua satellites on Friday detected 471 hot spots in Sumatra and 398 hot spots in Kalimantan.

In Sumatra, the hot spots were detected in Jambi (166), followed by South Sumatra (148), Riau (116), West Sumatra (25), Bengkulu (10), North Sumatra (four) and Lampung (two).

In terms of visibility, Pelalawan in Riau and Jambi encountered the lowest with 200 meters, followed by Dumai (300 meters) and Pekanbaru (500 meters), both in Riau, and Palembang in South Sumatra (1 kilometer).

In Kalimantan, the hot spots were spread around Central Kalimantan (190), South Kalimantan (133), East Kalimantan (42) and West Kalimantan (33).

The region'€™s lowest visibility occurred in Sanggu Buntok in Central Kalimantan (100 meters), followed by Nanga Pinoh in West Kalimantan and Banjarmasin in South Kalimantan (200 meters), Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan (300 meters), Pontianak in West Kalimantan (400 meters), Ketapang in West Kalimantan and Sampit in Central Kalimantan (500 meters), Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan (700 meters) and Muara Teweh in Central Kalimantan (1 kilometer).

BNPB also reported that the haze in Sumatra was no longer reaching the Malacca Strait or neighboring Singapore and Malaysia. However, the agency added, the smog in Kalimantan was still reaching the western part of Malaysia'€™s Sarawak state in northern Borneo.

'€œAlmost 80 percent of Kalimantan is blanketed by smoke,'€ said Sutopo.

The pollution has disrupted activities at most schools in Central Kalimantan, Riau and Jambi; all three have issued a siaga (alert) emergency level, the highest level.

Thousands of officers have been deployed to extinguish the fires. (edn/kes)(++++)

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