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Hotspots increased to 79 from 51 in Riau

PEKANBARU (Indonesia) March 10 (Bernama) -- The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has reported that forest fires' hotspots in Riau Province increased to 79 on Monday from 51, Indonesia's Antara news agency reported.

BNPB stated that according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 18 Satellite's detection, Riau had only one hotspot on Thursday, which increased to 10 hotspots on Friday, and 51 on Saturday and the latest, 79 hotspots on Monday.

BNPB's Head of Data Department Agus Wibowo stated that during the last four days, hotspots in Riau have increased and will continue to do so if it does not rain in the next few days.

Meanwhile, the Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) of Pekanbaru estimated that either hot or sunny weather will continue in Riau during the next few days.

"There are still chances of rain, but that will be very minimum, local and uneven," Palembang BMKG's Head Sugarin clarified.

NOAA also detected increase in the fire hotspots throughout Sumatera from 129 spots to 210 on Sunday.

Schools in Riau Province are closed until March 12, starting Monday, following worsening air pollution, due to the forest fires.

Meanwhile, visibility in Pekanbaru has reached 50 and 70 metres in the last few days mainly due to thick haze from the forest fires.

The government of Riau Province had set up a haze emergency task force and conducted cloud seeding for rains, but in vain.


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