Defence Ministry doing cloud seeding to deal with haze

  • Nation
  • Friday, 17 Aug 2018

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu (2L) visiting the site of peat soil fires in Johan Setia near Klang on Aug 17. Also present were Selangor Bomba director Azmi Osman (right) and Director of National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) Datuk Azizan Abu Taat (2R)). - BERNAMA

KLANG (Bernama): The Defence Ministry has mobilised its assets to carry out cloud seeding to help deal with the hot and hazy conditions in several parts of the country.

Its minister, Mohamad Sabu, said two Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) aircraft were sent out this morning to locate suitable clouds in the Selangor and Perak airspace, to precipitate rain.

"We need to find suitable clouds and locations to make cloud seeding a success," he told reporters after visiting the peat soil area at Johan Setia here today.

Also present was Selangor Fire and Rescue Department director Azmi Osman.

According to Mohamad, the hazy condition in the country was not caused by forest fires here but had been blown over from Sumatra, Indonesia.

For the record, the Air Pollutant Index readings for Banting and Johan Setia at 4pm today (Aug 17) were unhealthy at 106 and 117 respectively.

Meanwhile, Azmi said the forest fires in the peat soil area were under control and currently only eight hectares (20 acres) of the area were still on fire as compared to 16 hectares (40 acres) yesterday.

Peat soil fires are notoriously hard to put out as they burn deep underground. They often occur in former peat swamps that have been drained dry to plant oil palm.

Mohamad said the dry and hot weather this time around had made firefighting a problem and as such he advised the public, especially oil palm estate and farm owners not to carry out open burning.

"This month the Selangor Fire and Rescue Department received 545 reports on open burning ,” he added. -- BERNAMA 

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