SUBANG: A cloud seeding operation (CSO) was carried out at the Bukit Merah Dam, Semanggol, Perak yesterday.
The operation was a collaboration between Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry (MAFI), the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) and the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).
Agriculture and Food Industries Deputy Minister I Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah said the operation focused on two Integrated Agricultural Development Areas (IADAs) covering more than 20,000ha.
“This operation was carried out at IADA in the Kerian district covering 19,000ha while the cloud seeding at the IADA area in Penang involved 1,267ha,” he said at the RMAF base here yesterday.
Ahmad said the operation was aimed at increasing the water level at the dam and restoring the irrigation system for domestic, industrial and agricultural use, Bernama reported.
“We are confident that this operation will directly benefit 8,869 padi farmers in the Kerian area and 1,267 from the IADA Penang area,” he said.
MetMalaysia deputy director-general of Operations Lim Ze Hui said the seeding was done using 800kg of salt mixed with 4,800l of water in four tanks and flown in a Charlie 130 Hercules aircraft.
“For each spray in a suitable cloud, it takes 30 minutes to rain and according to our analysis, weather conditions are good and we have a high chance (of success),” he said.Meanwhile, Ahmad said the water level at the Bukit Merah Dam reached the critical level on May 27 – resulting in supply disruptions.
“The water level in the dam stands at 8.25m, 0.45m lower than the normal level of 8.70m – and the dam is at level one,” he said.
The operation was conducted by 11 members of the RMAF together with three MetMalaysia staffers.