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Hazewatch May 08: Update 2

Updated On: May 29, 2008

Fires and Haze: 21 May-27 May 2008

About 20 hectares of peatlands in District Mendahara Ulu, Tanjung Jabung Timur Regency, Jambi Province were burnt during the last four days. It is unclear whether he fire resulted from land burning or natural temperature increase. Peatlands in this area are extremely dry as the dry season begins. Two fire fighting teams consisting of 30 people were not able to stop the fire.

In Kalimantan, haze has reduced visibility to only 200m, hence interfered with flight schedule. Visibility standard at the Supadio, Pontianak is 800 m. The haze was likely to be originated from land burning.

In Sumatra, there were at least 79 hotspots detected by NOAA Satellite, of which 25 were found in Riau. In the last 5 days, there were 372 hotspots detected in South Sumatra, Riau, West Sumatra, North Sumatra and Aceh. But the visibility was still within normal range (2-4 km). Meteorology and Geophysics Agency in Medan said that the haze has reached North Sumatra and Malaysia and predicted that the situation will be worst in July and August.

Sources:
20 hectares of peatlands burnt, Kompas, 27 May 2008
Haze interferes with flight, Kompas 21 May 2008
Hundreds of hotspots appeared in Sumatra, Jurnal
Nasional, 21 May 2008

About the contributor:
Martha Maulidia is an associate researcher for SIIA based in Jakarta.







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