Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), on Tuesday, warned residents in South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and East Nusa Tenggara of new wildfire risks.

Hence, the agency suggested that residents in the three provinces stay alert for the potential land and forest fires and restrain themselves from carrying out slash-and-burn techniques to clear land.

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

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

According to BMKG head Dwikorita Karnawati, the El Nino phenomenon, strengthened by the positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), was predicted to trigger a drought during the dry season in Indonesia.

In view of the serious impact of the El Nino climate pattern on several regions in Indonesia, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) is collaborating with ministries and institutions to apply weather modification technology (TMC) to extinguish fires and support other needs.

Related news: BMKG sounds wildfire alert in 12 E Nusa Tenggara sub-districts

In the last two months, TMC has been implemented continuously in Riau, West Kalimantan, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), West Java, Jambi, Jakarta, South Kalimantan, and South Sumatra, BNPB head, Lieutenant General Suharyanto, noted in a recent statement.

Meanwhile, certain areas on the Indonesian island of Sumatra have been blanketed by haze resulting from wildfires.

The South Sumatra administration has distributed 3.6 million masks to local residents in response to unhealthy air conditions caused by the smog.

According to head of the South Sumatra Health Service, Trisnawarman, the Air Pollution Standard Index (ISPU) in Palembang City had reached a harmful level on October 1, 2023.

Such poor air quality could seriously harm public health, he added.

The Pekanbaru city administration in Riau Province was reportedly considering closing schools if the haze, which had engulfed the region for days, continued to worsen.

Related news: Improving water management to quench drought-prone areas

Related news: Jakarta doubles food reserves to anticipate El Nino

Translator: Zubi M, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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