S. Sumatra Boosts Weather Mods to Counter Forest Fire Haze



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The land and forest fires in South Sumatra so far has destroyed 145,000 hectares of land to this day. The region’s Governor, Herman Deru, promised to mobilize everything to overcome one of the country’s worst environmental disasters in the last decade. 

    “We will be assisted by a larger [military's] Hercules plane that will be used to deploy more than 4 tons of salt,” said Herman Deru today, referring to the weather modification technology (TMC) that uses salt to spark rain over the clouds of affected areas. 

    Prior to his announcement, the area sees a Cassa aircraft flown over affected regions to deploy 88 kilograms of salt to create man-made rain. 

    Other than the TMC, local authorities have also mobilized the use of water bombing from 9 helicopters that conduct routine flights. 

    As of Monday, there are at least 18 major hotspots based on aerial surveillance and satellite images. According to the governor, most of the fires are happening over peatland areas and abandoned lands in 16 villages at the District of Ogan Komering Ilir (OKI).