More than two million hectares of Indonesia's forests were burnt down in the past five months, Indonesian authorities have revealed, as neighbouring countries get respite from the choking smoke.
Jakarta Globe reported the country's National Space and Aviation Agency (Lapan) as estimating that 2,089,911 hectares of forest area were lost to fires, based on satellite data collected from June 21 to October 20.
“We have compared the data gathered from before and after the fires started,” Parwati Sofan, a senior official at Lapan was quoted as telling a press conference in Central Jakarta on Friday.
It said Lapan estimated that 832,999 hectares of forests were burnt in Sumatra, 806,817 hectares in Kalimantan, 353,191 hectares in Papua, 30,912 hectares in Sulawesi, 30,162 hectares in Bali and Nusa Tenggara, 18,768 in Java, and 17,063 in Maluku.
- The figures may actually be higher, as Parwati reportedly said the satellite is unable to scan forest areas covered in smoke.
- He added that the numbers were expected to increase since they were still in the midst of collecting date.
Meanwhile, Indonesia's Natural Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho reportedly said that 32% of the hot spots were in non-concession forest areas, 20% in industrial forest areas, and 20% in palm oil plantations.
Smoke from Indonesia's forest fires have choked neighbouring countries for nearly two months now, forcing schools in Malaysia to close for several days on end, flights to be cancelled, and a hike in illnesses across several states.
Source: The Malaysian Insider