Labuan Bajo, E Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has asked residents in 12 sub-districts of East Nusa Tenggara province to remain alert for wildfires amid continued drought conditions.

The sub-districts are Satar Mese Barat, Satar Mese Utara, Satar Mese, Lelak, Ruteng, Rahong Utara, Wae Rii, Langke Rembong, Reok Barat, Reok, Cibal, and Cibal Barat.

Decky Irmawan, head of the Frans Sales Lega Meteorology Station in Manggarai district, said here on Wednesday that locals will need to remain cautious while using combustible materials that could trigger wildfires.

The sub-districts of Reok Barat, Reok, Cibal, and Cibal Barat are more vulnerable to wildfires due to wind speed potential of 35 kilometers per hour in the areas, he added.

In addition, Rossby waves and oceanic evaporation could rise "high enough" with the sea surface temperature in Manggarai district predicted to range between 27 and 29 degrees Celsius, he added.

Considering the weather condition, he urged locals to give importance to wildfire prevention efforts and refrain from burning dry grasses or tossing cigarette butts carelessly.

ANTARA has reported earlier that the BMKG has projected that this year's dry season will follow the same pattern as the one seen in 2019.

A total of 28 percent of regions in Indonesia, which include 194 seasonal zones (ZOM) determined by the BMKG, have been forecast to experience the dry season from June this year.

BMKG head Dwikorita Karnawati said the El Nino phenomenon, which is getting stronger due to the positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), could trigger a drought during the dry season in Indonesia.

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Translator: FM Nuka, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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