REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, PONTIANAK — Metereology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said there were 1.431 hotspots spreaded in several districts in West Kalimantan on Friday (Sept 20). According to ISPU (air pollution standard index), Pontianak and surrounding areas are classified as dangerous for human health.
The increase in the number of hotspots in West Kalimantan monitored through Lapan satellite image data processing from Sept 19 at 07.00 WIB (Indonesia West Standard Time) until Sept 20 at 07.00 WIB, which are as many as 1.431 hotspots. The highest number of hotspots is located in Ketapang Regency, which was 1.061 hotspots.
In addition, Kayong Utara Regency has 128 hotspots, Melawi 54 hotspots, Kubu Raya 54 hotspots, Sinang 36 hotspots, Kapuas Hulu 25 hotspots, Landak 17 hotspots, Sambas 16 hotspots, Sekadau 11 hotspots, Sanggau eight hotspots, Mempawah six hotspots, Bengakayang four hotspots, then also in Singkawang City with one hotspot. Meanwhile, in Pontianak City no hotspots were found.
Many people in Pontianak reported that they feel shortness of breath and headaches due to the thick smoke haze, as the impact of land and forest fire (karhutla). One of the residents in the city, Masdar said the haze was stuffy and hot.
“Actually i’m an active smoker, but with this very thick haze, i experience shortness of breath," Masdar said.
According to Masdar, the haze has residual particles from land and forest fire. Therefore, he admitted that the breathed air feel really bitter.
Another resident named Bandi said he also experienced shortness of breath, even though he used mask. He only hopes there would be the rain, so the haze in Pontianak could disappear, then the air quality would return to be normal again.
“Eventhough we use air masks, it feels stuffy, making it hard to breathe. I hope rain to come and the air will be normal again, also all the people can do activities normally,” Bandi explained.