Fires keep flaring, haze troubles again

EoF News / 10 October 2006

Pekanbaru (EoF News) – Tera Modis satellite detected that there were 521 hotspots appearedfrom Oct.1 to Oct.7. It escalated quite higher than Sep 22-30 period with only 103 hotspots.

In concession that formerly proposed for PT Chandra Dirgantara there was 129 hotspots in this period alone. The concession now is allocated for oil palm plantation where several timber companies holding IPK (log utilization) license conducted land clearing.

By timber concession group, APRIL contributed to 41 hotspots, APP 19, while “not known” group 138, and “no information” group 11. By oil palm plantation concession group, Adei Plantation has 37 hotspots, and followed by Pulau Sambu group with 33.

Despite rain helped extinguish forest and land fires in Pekanbaru early Monday morning, threats of air pollution would not be over as hotspots tended to increase currently.

asap002Thick haze last week troubled residents in Riau province including its capital Pekanbaru. The visibility was low even reached 75 m in Bangkinang, 70 km away from Pekanbaru.

Nearly all flights were delayed in airport of Sultan Syarief Kasim II on Sunday (Oct.8).  Inconvenience faced by residents doing activities outdoor where the government did not take proper action to anticipate it.

Reports said Singapore and Malaysia suffered haze pollution and blamed Indonesia for failing to solve the problem every year.  Air pollution index in the two countries broke the worst record since 1997 haze disaster.

Forest and land fires flared in the provinces of Kalimantan and Sumatra islands since August which peaked in September and this month.

In Pelalawan district, Riau Pos daily reported that residents suffering respiratory diseases due to thick haze soared highly to 1,600 – 1,800 patients that double higher from normal time.