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Cloud seeding targets drought

By Zhu Lixin in Hefei and Liu Kun in Wuhan | | Updated: 2022-08-17 19:37
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As drought conditions have continued, many Chinese provinces and cities have been taking action to find relief.

Anhui province resorted 48 times to ground-based cloud seeding operations in 31 urban districts and rural counties on Monday and Tuesday, according to Anhui Daily.

Over the two days, meteorologists blasted nearly 1,000 salt flares into clouds. The resulting rain varied in different areas.

At the request of the Hubei provincial government, the China Meteorological Administration dispatched a cloud seeding airplane to the province. On Monday and Tuesday, the plane seeded clouds in Shiyan and Xiangyang three times, in addition to Hubei's 159 ground operations.

Over the same two days, authorities in Chongqing sent 625 cannon rounds and two rocket rounds skyward.

"The operation was conducted only in the city's northern areas. Other areas are still waiting for suitable weather conditions," said Zhang Yixuan, an official at Chongqing's meteorological bureau.

The drought has resulted a surge in demand for cloud seeding materials, according to one company — Xi'an Qinghua Civil Explosive Materials in Shaanxi province.

"Last year, the company's branch in Baise, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, sold only about 170 rocket shells for cloud seeding across the country, but it had sold 1,054 so far this year," said Luan Ming, a manager at the Qinghua company's Baise branch.

He added that the majority of the shells for rainmaking were sold since July.

Firefighters in Huanggang, Hubei province, have been dispatched for drought relief hundreds of times since Sunday. Their tasks have included irrigating crops, fruit trees and urban green belts. They even cooled off pigs being carried by truck, the local fire brigade said.

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