Riau has grappled with severe air pollution for the past week as land and forest fires continue to spread. In the Mandau and Pinggir districts in Bengkalis regency, air pollution has already reached dangerous levels.
Based on Riau Land and Forest Fires Emergency Task Force data, the air pollution standard index (ISPU) in Duri Camp, Mandau district, stood at 361 PSI, a dangerous level, on Monday. Three days before, the air pollution level in Duri even reached 460 PSI. Schools in Bengkalis gave their students a two-day vacation due to the worsening haze.
The air quality is considered good if the ISPU is below 50 PSI, moderate if 101-199 and unhealthy if 101-199. Meanwhile, air with an ISPU level of 200-299 PSI is considered very unhealthy and dangerous if it reaches beyond 300 PSI.
In Pekanbaru, haze has led to severe air pollution, in which the ISPU decreased to an unhealthy level of 162 PSI on Monday. The air quality in Dumai, Kampar and Rokan Hilir was also unhealthy, with ISPU readings of 166, 144 and 184 PSI, respectively.
On Sunday, the air pollution in Dumai reached a dangerous level, with the ISPU standing at 369 PSI. Despite the severe air pollution, schools in Dumai have not yet decided to close.
“We are still waiting for recommendations from the Dumai environment and health agencies. A temporary school closure can be applied only through a decree from the Dumai mayor,” the Dumai Education Agency’s secondary education head Misdiono said.