Philippine authorities to study effects of cloud seeding in volcanic ashfall areas

  • AseanPlus News
  • Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020

A family evacuating to safer grounds as Taal volcano in Tagaytay erupted on Monday. - AP

MANILA, (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN): The proposal to cloud seed in areas affected by ashfall from the eruption of the Taal Volcano needs further study, according to the director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

“That has to be studied. In general, cloud [seeding] is a good idea, but how to operationalise it, you really have to study, ” Phivolcs director and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Dr Renato Solidum said in a press briefing on Tuesday (Jan 14).

Solidum first explained that the rain would be good to wash down the ash caused by the volcanic eruption.

"But the amount of rain that it would produce and where would it fall, obviously there should be an ideal condition where you will cloud seed," added Solidum.

This comes after Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III earlier made his proposal, saying that it would reduce the bad effects of the ashfall.

Asked further if this would lead to a threat of lahar (floods), Solidum answered: “Well, this has to be studied. If you look at it, obviously if there is too much water, it will wash down the ash, but it could also cause lahar because it is washing down the ash."

Lahar, according to the United States Geological Survey, is described as “hot or cold mixture of water and rock fragments that flows down the slopes of a volcano and typically enters a river valley.”

Solidum added that the eruption itself already triggered the process of cloud seeding.

“But then remember, When an eruption occurs, the rise of the warm atmosphere, and the ash as well, can trigger rainfall, ” Solidum explained. - Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network

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Phillippines , volcano , eruption , cloud , seeding


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