Weather modification for rainfall in Riau's peatland areas

Weather modification for rainfall in Riau's peatland areas

Preparations for conducting cloud seeding to produce rains in Riau on May 24, 2020. ANTARA/HO-Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Forestry

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coinciding with the Idul Fitri Islamic Festivity on Sunday (May 24), the Indonesian government conducted climate engineering by using Weather Modification Technology (TMC) over the peatland areas in Riau Province to prevent wild fires.

"The team continues to work on holidays by undertaking one flight sortie. Cloud seeding was conducted in Bengkalis, Siak, and Meranti Islands by using 800 kilograms of NaCl or salt," Director of Forest and Land Fire Control at the Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Forestry (KLHK) Basar Manullang noted in a statement here on Monday.

The Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Forestry, in cooperation with the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), Indonesian Air Force, and other partners, conducted the TMC.

The ministry is planning to conduct more cloud-seeding activities in the province in accordance with the recommendations of the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) and BPPT.

Weather modification to produce artificial rains will also be conducted in South Sumatra Province.

Rains are critical to ensuring that peatland areas remain wet and water levels at canals and reservoirs are sufficient.

Since the commencement of weather modification operations from May 13 to May 24, a total of 10 flight sorties were conducted, with a total of eight tons of sodium chloride (NaCl) or salt used for cloud seeding in Riau Province.

The weather modification activities have succeeded in inducing rain in the cities of Pekanbaru, Siak, Kuala Kampar, Sei Pakning, Kandis, and Sedingin.

"Since the start of the weather engineering operation through TMC from May 14 to May 24, the total cumulative volume of rainwater has been estimated to reach 33.1 million cubic meters," Basar remarked.

Indonesia is currently entering the dry season. Based on the BMKG forecast, the dry season is expected to peak during the period from June to August.

The KLHK has prioritized conducting rain engineering at various locations in provinces prone to forest and land fires, such as Riau, Jambi, and South Sumatra.

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