At least 2,510 hotspots observed in ASEAN on Sept 4-7

At least 2,510 hotspots observed in ASEAN on Sept 4-7

Indonesian military and police officers attempt to put out forest fires. (photo: special/ FA)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - No less than 2,510 hotspots, indicating the presence of forest fires, were spotted by satellites throughout the ASEAN region on September 4-7, 2019.

The number of hotspots in the Southeast Asian region over the past four days vacillated though tending to increase, Mulyono R. Prabowo, deputy head of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), noted in a statement here on Sunday.

On the basis of monitoring by the Terra Aqua MODIS, SNPP, NOAA20, and Himawari-8 satellites in the region, a total of 727 hotspots were found on Sept 4, 516 on Sept 5, 619 on Sept 6, and 648 on Sept 7.

The hotspots were observed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea,  Vietnam, Timor Leste, and Thailand. No transboundary haze was detected in spite of the presence of hotspots.

In Indonesia, the hotspots were found in  the provinces of Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and South Kalimantan. However, those provinces began to receive rains.

The agency has urged the public to remain vigilant of likely forest fires, air pollution, and drought. Indonesia has been facing a severe dry season induced by El Nino that triggered drought and forest fires in several provinces this year. The dry spell has cast a pall over 100 districts and cities in Indonesia’s provinces of Aceh, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara, and East Nusa Tenggara.

Eight provinces in Indonesia are susceptible to forest fires, but only six have declared an emergency status for forest fires, Director of Forest Fire Mitigation Raffles B. Panjaitan of the Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry noted recently.

The six provinces are Riau, with the emergency status declared from Feb 19 to Oct 31, or 255 days; West Kalimantan (from Feb 12 to Dec 31, or 323 days); South Sumatra (Mar 8-Oct 31, or 237 days); Central Kalimantan (May 28-Aug 26, or 91 days); South Kalimantan (Jun 1-Oct 31, or 153 days); and Jambi (Jul 23-Oct 20, or 90 days).

The Indonesian Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry recorded 2,070 hotspots, with a confidence rate at over 80 percent, during the January-July 2019 period, based on monitoring by the Terra and Aqua Modis satellites. Related news: Air-polluting forest fire hotspots in Riau reach 154
Related news: Sumatra Island ravaged by 584 hotspots representing forest fires


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