Air pollutant reading in Palembang hits record high

Schoolchildren donning face masks as thick haze caused by forest fires still burning across Indonesia blanketed Palembang yesterday, sending visibility plummeting to as low as 50m, and forcing most schools around the city to close. The Air Pollutant
PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Schoolchildren donning face masks as thick haze caused by forest fires still burning across Indonesia blanketed Palembang yesterday, sending visibility plummeting to as low as 50m, and forcing most schools around the city to close.

The Air Pollutant Index reading in the South Sumatran capital hit 921 - the worst ever registered in the area.

Dr Agus Wibowo, spokesman for the country's national disaster mitigation agency, said nearly 700 hot spots were detected in South Sumatra province. Yesterday, seven helicopters dropped 66 million litres of water over the province.

Even as noxious smoke made a comeback in some parts of Indonesia, the likelihood of Singapore being affected by transboundary haze remains low, according to the haze situation update on the website of Singapore's National Environment Agency.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2019, with the headline 'Air pollutant reading in Palembang hits record high'. Print Edition | Subscribe