Environment

More than 560 000 affected by drought, Sri Lanka starts creating artificial rain


Prolonged dry weather and resulting severe drought is affecting more than 560 000 people in Sri Lanka, forcing authorities to start continual artificial rainmaking.

According to the Disaster Management Center, authorities have launched programmes to expedite supply of drinking water to more than 281 000 people already without drinking water as a result of salinity flowing into the Kalu Ganga.

State-run power company has imposed daily power cuts for the first time in more than two years due to low hydro-power output, officials said March 25.

In an indication of how severe the situation has become, a Power and Energy Ministry official said the government started trying to produce artificial rain with the help of Thailand’s Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation, Reuters reported.

The Power and Energy Ministry said March 22 the Sri Lanka Air Force used a helicopter to spray chemicals on the clouds 2.4 km (8 000 feet) above the catchment areas of the Maussakelle Reservoir, Central Province, resulting in 45 minutes of rainfall.

“Observing the success of the pilot project which commenced today, Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake has instructed relevant authorities to take necessary measures to create artificial rains in the next few days until the dry weather exists in the country,” the ministry.

Featured image credit: Lanka Mag


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