Indonesia resorts to cloud seeding to avert flooding in capital
Jakarta - Indonesian authorities have started cloud seeding to limit the amount of rain from falling in Jakarta and causing flooding, an official said Monday.
Military aircraft were deployed Sunday to release salt into clouds to induce rain before they reach the capital, said Sutopo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency.
Widespread flooding hit Jakarta earlier this month after heavy rain, killing 26 people and displacing more than 50,000 people.
The national weather service has predicted that rain will continue until at least mid-February.
"Our target is to reduce rainfall by 30 per cent in the next two months," Nugroho said.
He said the government was deploying 25 ground-based acetone generators to divert condensation that contributed to larger clouds.
Jakarta - 40 per cent of which lies below sea level - is prone to flooding in the wet season, made worse by clogged rivers, sewers and storm drains, and poor city planning.//DPA