Cloud seeding is being planned by Indonesian authorities to prevent further rainfall over the capital, Jakarta, and surrounding areas.
With more rain forecast, two small planes have been readied to break up potential rain clouds in the skies above the Sunda Strait. A bigger plane will also be on standby, Indonesia’s technology agency (BPPT) said in a statement.
“All clouds moving towards the Greater Jakarta area which are estimated to lead to precipitation will be shot with NaCl (sodium chloride) material,” the agency said.
Jakarta and its surrounding areas have suffered from extreme flooding due to the high intensity of rainfall over the last few days. National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman, Agus Wibowo, said about 397,000 people have sought refuge in shelters across the greater metropolitan area.
Those returning to their homes have found streets covered in mud and debris. Cars that had been parked in driveways have been swept away and have landed upside down in parks or piled up in narrow alleys. On Thursday, authorities used hundreds of pumps to suck water out of residential areas and public infrastructure like railways.
Cloud seeding, or shooting salt flares into clouds in an attempt to trigger rainfall, is often used in Indonesia to put out forest fires during the dry season. Meanwhile, the Meteorological, Climatological, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has warned that the “extreme weather” may continue until January 7th, and heavy rainfall could last through to mid February.
Source: CNBC, The Guardian