Smog from forest fires shrouds Riau, West and Central Kalimantan

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Smog emanating from forest fires hung over the provinces of Riau, West Kalimantan, and Central Kalimantan though not descending over Singapore and Malaysia, Agus Wibowo, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman, stated.

"The haze blows toward southeast and north. The smog cover has increased in Riau or Central Kalimantan," Wibowo noted here on Saturday.

The air quality has worsened in Pekanbaru, Riau, and Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan. The concentrations of particulate matter (PM10) reached 173, or considered unhealthy, in Pekanbaru, and 126, or moderate, in Palangkaraya.

Based on satellite monitoring on Saturday at 7 a.m. local time, 126 hotspots were found in Riau, four in Jambi, 13 each in South Sumatra and South Kalimantan, 533 in West Kalimantan, and 159 in Central Kalimantan.

In the meantime, at least 1,136 residents of Pekanbaru, Riau Province, have ailed from upper respiratory tract infections following exposure to haze arising from forest fires raging in the province's several districts.

All community health posts in Pekanbaru were notified to be prepared to deliver optimal services to patients with respiratory ailments, Mohammad Amin, acting head of the Pekanbaru health office, had stated recently.

Most outpatients were people belonging to the productive age group that often conducted outdoor activities, he explained.

He called on Pekanbaru residents to watch out for their health and remain indoors at a time when haze blankets their city.

Source: ANTARA News

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