Sunday, 24 Jumadil Awwal 1441 / 19 January 2020

Sunday, 24 Jumadil Awwal 1441 / 19 January 2020

Haze from Sumatra's forest fires affecting Malaysia, Singapore

Kamis 10 Sep 2015 19:01 WIB

Red: Julkifli Marbun

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REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, TANJUNGPINANG -- Haze caused by forest fires in Riau Province, Sumatra Island, has affected Malaysia and Singapore, and the government needs to take anticipatory measures to tackle the problem, the Riau meteorological office's weather analyst, Ardhito, stated.

"This morning, the visibility reaches 2.5 thousand meters in Riau," he noted on Thursday.

The condition in Malaysia was better than that in Singapore, he pointed out.

The haze drifting towards the two neighboring countries was from Sumatra and not from Kalimantan, Ardhito clarified.

In Pekanbaru, five hotspots were found on Thursday morning. The haze from Riau Province has polluted the air in Riau Islands Province and might drift towards Singapore, he remarked.

The only way to end the haze problem is by extinguishing the fires, Ardhito added.

In the meantime, thick smog caused by forest and land fires in Sumatra Island has forced the Payakumbuh city government in West Sumatra to announce a three-day holiday for the local students.

"The haze disaster has reached an emergency response level. Therefore, in order to safeguard the health of the students, we gave them a three-day off," Head of Payakumbuh City Government's Educational Affairs Hasan Basri informed reporters recently.

Basri pointed out that the holiday period could be extended if the haze condition deteriorated.

"We are monitoring the situation until Thursday. If the smog condition worsens, we will extend the holiday period," he affirmed.

Prior to the decision, several heads of schools, including those from the early childhood education center (PAUD) and kindergartens, had requested the city government's permission to allow their students to stay at home, he remarked.

Speaking about the air quality in the city, Head of Payakumbuh's Environmental Affairs Syamsurial noted that the Pollution Standard Index (PSI) board revealed on Monday that the PSI reached a level of 190 mg/m3, or "unhealthy."

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