Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News) - The United States NOAA 18 satellite detected 145 hotspots in Riau Province, an increase from 79 earlier, an official stated here on Tuesday.

"Across Sumatra, there were 228 hotspots on Monday, and the largest number is in Riau," Agus Wibowo, the head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNBP)s data section, stated here on Tuesday.

In Riau province, the largest number of the hotspots was found in Bengkalis (38 hotspots), followed by Meranti (20).

"The hotspots were also detected in Pelalawan and Siak with respectivley 19 hotspots, in Dumai (17), Indragiri Hilir (15), Rokan Hilir (14) and Kuantan Singingi (three)," he pointed out.

On Sunday, a total of 79 hotspots were detected in Riau province, including 20 in Pelalawan, and 16 in Bengkalis.

Meanwhile, data from 10 Air Pollutant Standard Index (APSI) devices set up in several regions in the Riau Province showed that the air quality level was categorized as hazardous, an official noted.

The head of the Riau health office Zainal Arifin, stated here on Monday, that his office had received the data on Sunday.

The APSI devices, owned by PT Chevron PacificCPI Rumai, recorded 359.3 PSI in Pekanbaru, 500 each in Minas, Siak, Duri Camp and Duri Field in the Bengkalis District, 391 in Dumai City, 348 in the Siak District, 434 in Kandis, 454 in Perawang, 500 in Bangko and 500 in Libo.

The air quality index above 300 PSI is categorized as hazardous to peoples health, Arifin added.

More than 43.8 thousand residents of the Riau Province have suffered from health problems, due to forest and land fires occurring since the past eight weeks in the region.

Most of the patients, 38,424 of them, suffered from acute respiratory system infection (ISPA).

The regions with the most ISPA patients were Pekanbaru (9,268) and Rokan Hilir Regency (7,520).

At least 2,021 residents also suffered from skin irritation and 1,470 others from asthma.

Smoke and haze have also resulted in 1,344 Riau residents getting treated for eye irritation in public health centers, while about 811 others suffered from pneumonia.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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