Rainmaking operation kicks off to combat Chiang Mai haze


CHIANG MAI, Feb 27 – The Northern Royal Rainmaking Centre initiate its first operation to fight haze and drought in Thailand’s northern provinces on Monday afternoon by inducing moisture in the atmosphere to fall as rain, clearing the skies.

Kitti Thupsri, technical specialist at the centre said that three aircraft are set to start the artificial rainmaking operation over Chiang Mai’s provincial seat, the first targeted location to alleviate haze and suspended dust particles that have been at more that safety standard for several days.

However, he said the operation may not be fully effective due to unfavourable weather and low humidity in the air.

The rainmaking operation will continue until October to ease the haze problem and drought in the northern region, he added.

Meanwhile, in Nan, a forest fire spread to an area near 20 military houses behind the Phu Pieng district office, causing haze in several areas including Nan municipality where dust particles were measured on Monday at 134 microgrammes per cubic metre, higher than the safety standard.

Officials are working to bring the fire under control.

Nan mayor Surapol Thienrasutr asked for cooperation from residents to absolutely refrain from burning because dust particles if increasing can substantially affect health of the public.

If such fires spread to other property, legal action will be taken against violators.