The Jakarta Post
The Ketaping, Padangpariaman office of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) in West Sumatra said thick smoke from several provinces across Sumatra had reduced visibility in Padang to around 1,000 meters on Sunday.
'After two days of rain, haze has blanketed Padang and West Sumatra again, resulting in limited visibility,' BMKG Ketaping weather analyst Yuni Fitria said as quoted by Antara in Padang on Sunday.
She said the smoke came from neighboring provinces, such as Riau and South Sumatra, while in West Sumatra, several hot spots were detected in the southern part of the province.
Yuni said haze was not only blanketing Padang but had been spreading evenly over West Sumatra.
'The smoke will only clear if rain falls on detected hot spots,' she said, adding that rain was not expected in the next two days.
The pollution has hampered resident's activities. Padang Beach and Agus Salim Sports Stadium were not as crowded as usual on Sunday.
The head of disease control and disaster mitigation at the West Sumatra administration's health agency, Irene, said the administration had instructed regencies and municipalities to instruct people to wear masks and reduce outdoor activities. 'We are calling on all residents to reduce outdoor activities and increase their intake of vitamins to stay healthy,' she said.
Irene further explained that the number of people suffering from acute respiratory infections (ISPA) had reached 3,220, down from 6,009 in the previous week. (ebf)
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