Haze from Forest Fires Blankets Banda Aceh: BMKG

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • An aerial view of forest and land fires in Tuah Indrapura village, Siak regency, Riau, Wednesday, September 18, 2019. TEMPO/Hilman Fathurrahman W

    An aerial view of forest and land fires in Tuah Indrapura village, Siak regency, Riau, Wednesday, September 18, 2019. TEMPO/Hilman Fathurrahman W

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) stated haze caused by land and forest fires in several provinces of Sumatra has shrouded Aceh province, including Banda Aceh and its vicinity.

    “A few days ago, haze started to cover several regencies and cities in Aceh, but this morning the haze has already covered the entire province, including Banda Aceh and Aceh Besar, as we predicted,” said the agency’s Aceh meteorology station's spokesman Zakaria Ahmad in Banda Aceh, Monday, September 23.

    Zakaria explained the central BMKG had yet to record the haze in the country’s westernmost province due to satellite issues.

    “The satellite cannot monitor the haze if there are clouds. As we know, many rainy clouds are looming over Aceh’s horizon, so it is only reasonable if the spread of the haze is not detected,” Zakaria added.

    He continued to explain that the Aceh BMKG had confirmed the haze above the province came from land and forest fires in Sumatra.

    The haze, however, did not hinder transportation operations in Banda Aceh, Aceh Besar, and Sabang as visibility was still at 5-9 KM. “Flight operations at Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport were also undisturbed, the visibility is ranging from 7 to 9 KM as in Sabang,” he said.

    The BMKG further called on the public to wear masks or eye protectors while doing outdoor activities, especially those in areas highly affected by haze, viz. Bener Meriah, Aceh Tamiang, East Aceh, and Southeast Aceh.

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