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Haze update: Haze covers Pekanbaru despite efforts to douse fires

Published on Jun 24, 2013 1:16 PM

Despite efforts to put out fires in the forest and plantations, the haze has made its way to Pekanbaru, the provincial capital of Riau, on Monday morning.

Pollutant Standards Index which had hovered around 100 in Pekanbaru last week, rose to 140 on Sunday night.

The Straits Times understands that several commercial flights were delayed at Syarif Kasim II airport on Monday morning, as they were unable to take off due to low visibility caused by the haze.

Meanwhile in Dumai, the coastal city closest to many of the fires, it rained for the second time on Sunday evening, following a 30-minute downpour at dawn.

Emergency Control room to monitor the hotspots at the Airforce Base in Pekanbaru. -- ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN

Sunday was the second day that cloud-seeding was carried out by the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB).

"The rain fell at 5pm, just a few hours after Hercules C-130 commenced the cloud-seeding in Bengkalis district and Dumai at 2pm," said Brigadier General Teguh Rahardjo, who is the chief commander of Emergency Respond in Riau.

With ongoing efforts to tackle the fire and haze situation in Riau, which has been declared an emergency state last Friday, more hotspots have been detected.

As of Monday, a total of 227 hot spots have been detected in Sumatra, of which 159 are found in Riau. A day earlier, a total of 119 hot spots were detected.

This is because as the sky clears up after the rain, the satellite is able to detect more hot spots, explained an air force officer.