297 hotspots detected in Riau, more expected

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) in Pekanbaru recorded 297 hotspots in Riau as of Tuesday morning.

"The number of hotspots recorded today is half the total number of hotspots in Sumatra, which has reached 407. Pelalawan and Indragiri have the largest number of hotspots, 151 and 54, respectively," BMKG analyst Warih Budi Lestari told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

Riau had 37 hotspots on Monday, up from 27 on the previous day.

She said the number of hotspots would likely increase over the next two days as cloud formation in Riau was being hampered by tropical storm Kong-Rey in the Philippines.

"The ongoing dry season might also create new hotspots," said Warih.

According to the analyst, the government has yet to find the best way to alleviate the forest and peatland fires that occur every year.

During his visit to Riau on Monday, Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said he had let the police prosecute those allegedly responsible for the recent haze disaster in the province.

"Dozens of suspects have been arrested by the police. We will wait for them to finish their investigation. Any entity who is proven guilty, either local or international company, should be prosecuted," said Zulkifli.

Hotspot-caused thick haze at Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport in Riau forced the rerouting of three flights early on Tuesday.


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