Cloud-seeding operations postponed indefinitely

Cloud-seeding operations postponed indefinitely
Syarikat Air Negri Sembilan engineer Mohd Noor Hairi Ab Razak (left) and Gemencheh plant engineer Mohamad Amin Abu Zaka discussing the water level at the Gemencheh dam.

PETALING JAYA - The Malaysian Meteorological Department will postpone cloud-seeding operations indefinitely until the search and rescue mission for the missing MH370 jetliner is over.

The department's atmospheric science and cloud-seeding division director Azhar Ishak said the exercise was supposed to begin last Sunday but was postponed because the aircraft usually used for the purpose - the RMAF's C-130 Hercules - had been deployed to help in the search mission.

The cloud-seeding operations were scheduled to be conducted daily from March 9 to 16 to help ease the country's current dry spell. They were to have been carried out over water catchment areas in Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Johor, Malacca and Kedah.

Azhar said wind conditions had improved somewhat with the approach of the inter-monsoon season.

"The weather is transitioning from the north-east to the south-west monsoon. This period will begin in late March and last until early May.

"We can expect rainfall and thunderstorms in the late afternoons, especially in the west coast of the peninsula, during the period," he said.

Residents, meanwhile, have to contend with the dry weather, hazy conditions and water rationing.

The third phase of the water-rationing exercise - two days of dry taps followed by two days of supply - began in Zone 2 on Monday.

It involves some 3.6 million residents from 290,865 households in 577 areas in Gombak, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling, Klang, Shah Alam, Kuala Selangor and Hulu Selangor.

The second phase started on March 2 and the first phase on Feb 27.

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