Three days ago, I had called the BNPB (National Disaster Mitigation Office) chief, commander of the National Defense Forces (TNI), and the National Police chief to deal with (the fires) in Riau, Palangka Raya, immediately
Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - The Terra and Aqua Satellites, on Tuesday, at 6 a.m. local time, detected 152 hotspots on Sumatra Island, including 75 in Riau Province, according to the Pekanbaru meteorology, climatology and geophysics station.
"Riau had the largest number of hotspots reaching 75," Gita Dewi Siregar, an analyst at the station, remarked here on Tuesday.
Some 10 hotspots were observed in Aceh, seven in Jambi, two in West Sumatra, five in Lampung, 25 in South Sumatra, 18 in North Sumatra, and 10 in Bangka Belitung.
In Riau, 25 hotspots were found in Rokan Hilir District, 17 in Pelalawan, 15 in Indragiiri Hilir, nine in Siak, three in Bengkalis, two in Meranti Islands, three in Kampar, and one each in Dumai and Kauntan Singingi.
Of the total 75 hotspots, 53 were confirmed to be fire spots, with 19 found in Rokan Hilir, 13 in Pelalawan, 12 in Indragiri Hilir, five in Siak, and two each in Kampar and Bengkalis.
Haze, arising from forest and peatland fires in Pelalawan, Siak, and Indragiri Hilir, over the last two weeks has shrouded Pekanbaru.
"Pekanbaru has been covered by haze, thereby reducing visibility to two kilometers," he stated.
Some 700 people in Pekanbaru suffered from respiratory illness as haze from forest fires has blanketed the city over the last several days.
The authorities had warned the local residents to remain indoors to prevent the dire impact of haze on their health, Yohanes, secretary of the Riau Health Office, noted here on Sunday.
At least 10 thousand face masks were distributed to motorbike riders, drivers and pedestrians.
Indonesia is currently experiencing a severe dry spell, induced by El Nino phenomenon. Until July 17, land and forest fires in the country had covered 42,740.42 hectares in 24 provinces. Nearly 99 percent of the fires were triggered by intentional or accidental human activities, Agus Wibowo, spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), stated.
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has issued orders to immediately extinguish the forest fires raging in several regions across the country.
"Three days ago, I had called the BNPB (National Disaster Mitigation Office) chief, commander of the National Defense Forces (TNI), and the National Police chief to deal with (the fires) in Riau, Palangka Raya, immediately," Jokowi remarked on July 31, 2019.
The Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs has appealed to 11 provincial administrations prone to land and forest fires to impose an emergency alert status in their respective regions.
So far, only the five provinces of Riau, West Kalimantan, South Sumatra, South Kalimantan, and Central Kalimantan have declared a state of emergency over forest fires.
Source: ANTARA News