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Jakarta Post

Air quality in West Sumatra decreases as haze spreads to the area

  • Syofiardi Bachyul J.B

    The Jakarta Post

West Sumatra   /   Thu, October 17, 2019   /   03:06 pm
Air quality in West Sumatra decreases as haze spreads to the area Looking back at 2015, Indonesia experienced huge and severe fires for most of the year. The World Bank reported in February 2016 that at least 2.6 million hectares of land (mostly peatland) caught fire that year in just five months, from June to October. The economic valuation of losses was estimated at US$16.1 billion. (JP/Hotli Simanjuntak)

Air quality in West Sumatra has decreased significantly as it touches a level considered unhealthy this week.

The head of Global Atmosphere Watch in Bukit Kototabang, Wan Dayantolis, said air quality had decreased from normal to unhealthy on Tuesday and Wednesday morning at around 10 a.m. and 6 a.m., respectively.

The Aerosol Optical Depth parameter also showed that the aerosol value in the atmosphere stood at >1, which means the air was contaminated with solid particles such as dust and ash.

“We also believe that air quality around the island will improve to the average level tonight,” Wan said on Wednesday.

The latest satellite imagery collected from the Himawari satellite shows that haze has spread to almost every area in West Sumatra. Wan explained that based on the wind pattern, the haze originated from hot spots in Riau, Jambi and South Sumatra. Out of the three areas, Jambi has the most hot spots. 

“The most affected area in West Sumatra is the south, such as Dharmasraya and Pesisir Selatan regency,” Wan said, adding that the aforementioned areas were blanketed by thick smog. 

Smog has reportedly appeared in Padang as well, although not severe enough to require people to wear masks while conducting outdoor activities. (dpk)


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