The Jakarta Post
Haze covered several areas of Riau province on Saturday morning and reduced visibility following the detection of dozens of hot spots in the province, an official has said.
The worst drop in visibility took place in Dumai, said Pekanbaru Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) chief Sugarin citing data from the agency's four observation posts.
"The visibility in Dumai at 7 a.m. local time was only 1,500 meters, in contrast to 9-kilometer visibility yesterday afternoon," he said on Saturday.
Riau's capital city Pekanbaru was also covered in thick haze on Saturday with visibility down to 2.5 kilometers from the forest and land fires in Tapung subdistrict of Kampar regency.
The smog is a result of the forest and land fires currently taking place in five regencies and municipalities in the province. There are 61 hot spots detected in Riau spread in several areas such as Rokan Hilir with 36 hot spots, Siak with 13 hot spots, Bengkalis with nine hot spots and Kampar with one hot spot, Sugarin said.
BMKG personnel and local officials coordinated with Riau Forest and Land Fires Emergency task force to put out the fires in order to prevent the haze getting worse.
Indonesia's annual occurrence of land and forest fires has also caused its northern neighbor Singapore to be blanketed in smoke, triggering yet more complaints from the city-state's residents. Singaporeans lambasted Indonesia for its deteriorating air quality on Friday as winds blew smoke from fires in Riau across the city-state. (rin)
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