TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - One month has passed since the City of Pekanbaru in the Riau Province is covered in haze caused by the forest and land fires in Sumatra. The visibility levels dropped substantially to 700-meters.
The problem of declining visibility is also felt by surrounding areas this morning on Thursday according to the data provided by the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) in Pekanbaru.
Meanwhile in Pelalawan, visibility dropped even further to 400-meters, City of Rengat to 500 meters, but the city of Dumai experienced the lesser of the effects by having visibility at 1.2 kilometers.
Head of the Riau Province Healthcare Agency Mimi Nazir announced that there are at least 24,589 patients admitted to hospitals in Riau related to acute respiratory infections (ISPA) which is a direct effect of the forest fire haze from September 1 to September 17.
The local administration has provided a number of safe houses that are equipped with the necessary equipment to treat patients of ISPA.
In regards to the haze issue, the Terra and Aqua satellite so far has detected 612 hotspots believed to be forest fires across South Sumatra, Jambi, Riau, West Sumatra, Kepri, North Sumatra, and Bengkulu.