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Indonesia to kill fire with artificial rain

21 June 2013, 16:08

Jakarta - Indonesia will drop salts into clouds to induce rain in an attempt to douse forest fires that have choked parts of the country and neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia, an official said on Friday.

Two helicopters have been dispatched to Riau province on Sumatra island, where forest fires have raged for days, said Heru Widodo, the head of the government-run Weather Modification Technology Centre.

A C-130 Hercules cargo plane would follow on Saturday, he said.

"We will start cloud seeding tomorrow [Saturday], if the situation permits," he said.

Cloud seeding involves firing salt-based chemicals into clouds to force out rain.

A similar method was used to try to divert rain away from the capital Jakarta following flooding in February.



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