Haze lowers visibility to below 50 meters in Palangka Raya

Haze lowers visibility to below 50 meters in Palangka Raya

Photo document of haze in Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan. (ANTARA/Rosa Panggabean)

Now, on Friday morning, some 59 hotspots were detected."
Palangka Raya (ANTARA News) - Haze arising from forest and plantation fires in Central Kalimantan Province has drastically reduced visibility to below 50 meters, while the air pollution standard index reached 1889.06 pm.

A total of 1,042 hotspots were recorded in the province in the morning of October 15 and decreased to 45 in the afternoon, Anton of the local meteorology office stated here on Friday.

"Now, on Friday morning, some 59 hotspots were detected," he reported.

Of the 59 hotspots, 19 were detected in Seruyan, nine in Sukamara, eight in Pulang Pisau, five in East Kotawaringin, three in West Kotawaringin, and two in Palangka Raya.

The air quality of Palangka Raya has reached a hazardous level and can impact the health of the public, he pointed out.

Health Minister Nila Djuwita F. Moeloek had earlier noted that the normal air pollution standard index is 0-50 pm, and above 300 pm is considered hazardous to health.

She called on the local inhabitants to stay indoors and wear face masks if they had to engage in outdoor activities.

At least 307,360 people in six Indonesian provinces from June 29 to October 5, 2015, had sought medical treatments for respiratory ailments and other diseases caused by smoke or haze from forest fires originating from Indonesias Sumatra and Kalimantan Islands.

"The number of patients visiting health facilities has increased by 15-20 percent over the last three weeks. The condition will be very worrisome if the smoke problem is not promptly tackled," Health Minister Moeloek informed the press on Oct. 6.

People residing in haze-affected regions have mostly suffered from acute respiratory infections, eye and skin irritations, pneumonia, asthma, and diarrhea.

The health ministrys Health Crisis Mitigation Center has recorded some 45,668 cases of haze-related health problems in Riau, 69,734 in Jambi, some 83,276 in South Sumatra, 43,477 in West Kalimantan, 29,104 in South Kalimantan, and 36,101 in Central Kalimantan.