Rapid-deployment rainmaking units set up for North, Northeast

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Bangkok – Two rainmaking units will be deployed to combat smog in six northern and northeastern provinces from February 10-15.

Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation Department Director General Surasee Kittimonthon said Khon Kaen had been blanketed with smog on Saturday, with toxic dust levels rising to 94 micrograms per cubic meter of air, exceeding the safety standard of 50 micrograms.

The Pollution Control Department measured hazardous PM2.5 particulate in the air in Phrae at 79 micrograms per cubic meter on Saturday. Toxic dust levels were also reported to be rising in Nan.

Authorities in Khon Kaen said burning of sugarcane fields by farmers looking to speed up harvests was the main cause of dirty air in the province.

Surasee said his department has been closely monitoring the air quality in affected areas in the North and the Northeast and found that the conditions would be suitable for rainmaking operations from Sunday to Friday.

The Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation (DRRAA) has set up two rapid-deployment rainmaking operation units; one in Khon Kaen and the other in Phitsanulok to conduct rainmaking operations in Khon Kaen, Loei, Lamphang, Phrae, Tak and Nakhon Sawan, said Surasee.