"We have prepared safe houses in regions being hit by forest fires," Harry Hikmat, the ministry's director general for protection and social security, stated here on Saturday.Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Social Affairs Ministry has prepared safe houses or shelters, especially for children and elderly, whose cities or villages, including in Riau and West Kalimantan provinces, were engulfed by haze emanating from forest fires.
"We have prepared safe houses in regions being hit by forest fires," Harry Hikmat, the ministry's director general for protection and social security, stated here on Saturday.
The safe house program is being implemented in cooperation with the Health Ministry, Public Works and Public Housing Ministry, National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI), Indonesian Police (Polri), and local authorities.
The safe houses are equipped with air purifiers for fresh oxygen and folding beds. The houses are tightly sealed to prevent smog from permeating and are run by capable personnel comprising psychologists and paramedics, among others.
The ministry has set up two safe houses in Aceh, respectively each in Banda Aceh and Aceh Besar; four in North Sumatra, constituting three in Medan and one in Deli Serdang District; two in Riau Province, both in Pekanbaru; two in South Sumatra, both being in Palembang;
two each in Jambi and Bengkulu; one each in East Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan; four in West Kalimantan, each respectively in Pontianak, Kubu Raya, Ketapang, and Sanggau; three in South Kalimantan; two in Banjarmasin; one Banjarbaru; one in North Kalimantan; five in South Sulawesi; one in Southeast Sulawesi; two in East Nusa Tenggara; two in Papua; and one in West Papua.
Based on monitoring data of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), 1,231 hotspots were detected on Sumatra Island, 1,865 on Indonesia's Kalimantan Island, 412 on the Malaysian Peninsula, and 216 in Serawak and Sabah, Malaysia.
The air quality in Pekanbaru, Riau Province, was categorized as hazardous with particle pollution reaching 404.71 µg/m3 on Friday (Sept) noon.
In Pontianak, West Kalimantan, the air quality was deemed moderate, with pollutant concentration touching 95.89 µg/m3.
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Translator: Desi P, Fardah
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