The haze in Batam is from forest fire here and not from Sumatra Island."
Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA News) - Hang Nadim Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has discovered five hotspots from forest fire across Riau Island Province, according BMKG spokesman Phillip Mustamu.

"We have discovered five hotspots in Batam but they are still small and safe for flights," he explained, adding that forest fire in Batam was triggered by high temperature, lack of rainfall, and strong winds.

Further, he explained that haze form forest, plantation and peat-land fires across Sumatra Island did not reach Batam Island.

"The haze in Batam is from forest fire here and not from Sumatra Island," he clarified.

Meanwhile, Pekanbaru BMKG spokesman Sugarin stated on Saturday that Terra and Aqua satellite of NOAA has detected 1,046 hotspots across Sumatra Island.

"Of the total number, 963 were found in Riau Province. The number has significantly risen from that of the previous day," Sugarin added.

The NOAA 18 satellite, however, detected only 138 hotspots across Sumatra on Friday, including 70 in Riau province, according to the Riau disaster mitigation office (BPBD).

During February 2014, the NOAA 8 satellite revealed 2,208 hotspots in Sumatra Island, including 1,272 in Riau Province.

In Riau, hotspots were found in Bengkalis (312), Pelalawan (198 titik), Dumai (174), Siak (147), Indragiri Hilir (130), Rokan Hilir (110), Meranti (91), Kampar (49), Indragiri Hulu (29), and Kuantan Singingi (16).

Chief of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Syamsul Maarif stated that 99 percent of forest and plantation fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan were deliberately set.

"There should be sanctions to stop recurrences. Slash-and-burn farming methods exist in Sumatra and Kalimantan, but the most important thing is that they should be controlled," Maarif noted in a statement on Feb. 28.

According to Maarif, the Indonesian police have named 23 suspects in Riau and 16 in Central Kalimantan, who have allegedly set the fires.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2014