HAZE WATCH: Cloud-seeding ops begin

HAZE WATCH: Cloud-seeding ops begin

23 August 2005

publishedby www.nst.com.my


MALAYSIA, Indonesia and Singapore started cloud-seeding operations yesterday using Hercules aircraft in Indonesia’s province of Riau and Kalimantan in an effort to put out fires burning in shrubs, oil palm plantations and farmland.

“We started cloud-seeding operations in Riau and Kalimantan.

“There was one Hercules aircraft each from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore,” Malaysia’s Consul-General in Riau, Moha- mad Nasri Abdul Rahman, said.

“The operations may last up to one month,” he said.

Rains over the weekend have doused much of the fires burning in Riau, which were blamed for the noxious haze blanketing Malaysia.

“About 80 per cent of the fires have been extinguished,” Khairul Zainal, head of Riau’s Supervisory Agency for Environmental Impact, said.

However, 27 new hotspots have also been detected in a protected forest named Mahatu, on the border between Riau and North Sumatra.

“We are checking on the ground to see how large the fires are.

“We are also investigating who started the fires. Anyone found starting the fires would be arrested,” Khairul said.

In Kuala Lumpur, The haze has cleared up around the country with the highest Air Pollutant Index reading of 58 points being recorded in Johor Baru today.

Of the 51 monitoring stations nationwide, 48 recorded readings of 0-50, which was “good”, while three stations registered API readings of 50-100, classified as “moderate”.

At 5pm, the Department of Environment recorded the lowest readings at Nilai, Negri Sembilan, while the highest was in Johor Baru.

Seremban was the only area to surpass the 80 mark.


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