Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) identified at least 18,895 hotspots in Southeast Asia and Papua New Guinea in the past two weeks and warned people of the possibility of forest and land fires.

"The increasing number of hotspots was due to the current atmospheric conditions and relatively hot and dry weather that tends to scorch plants more easily," BMKG's Deputy of Meteorology Mulyono R. Prabowo stated here on Wednesday.

Information on the number of hotspots was obtained from the Terra Aqua Satellite (LAPAN) and Himawari Satellite (Japan JMA) imagery that was then analyzed by BMKG.

Based on the monitoring conducted by BMKG, the number of hotspots in some Southeast Asian regions has increased, from 1,395 as monitored on July 25, 2019, to 2,441 hotspots on July 28, 2019.

Furthermore, the hotspots began to reduce to 1,782 on July 29, 2019, and then to 703 hotspots on August 1, 2019.

The number of hotspots increased again to 3,191 on August 4, 2019, concentrated in the Indonesian provinces of Riau, Central Kalimantan, and West Kalimantan. The hotspots were also detected in some other ASEAN countries of Malaysia (in Sarawak), Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and the Philippines.

The BMKG has continued to coordinate with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), some local Disaster Mitigation Agencies (BPBD), other related agencies, and the community to step up preparedness and vigil in facing potential land and forest fires, dangers of air and smoke pollution, and drought that can cause paucity of clean water.

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Translator: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Editor: Suharto
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