Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Haze Alert

Gloomy hazy days may just come back to haunt us, with fires spreading rapidly through some 20,000 hectares of forest in Riau, Sumatra.

Pekan Baru, the capital of Riau, along with several other districts in the province have been shrouded in thick smoke over the last two weeks, and drought in the province is worsening the situation.

Barely a year ago, forest fires in the same area resulted in haze here that breached the 300-point hazardous mark on the Air Pollution Index.

At the moment, smoke from Riau is blowing away from us, as we are still to reach the end of the North-East monsoon season. But as we approach the inter-monsoon period, the winds may occasionally blow towards us. If the fires are still not out as we approach April and early May, then there will be haze.