TF El Niño arrives for cloud seeding PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 February 2016 13:09

A team from Task Force El Niño of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pag-Asa) in Manila arrived in the city yesterday to assist in the conduct of cloud seeding operations starting today until Feb. 28.

This developed as 860 hectares of the city’s agricultural lands have dried up due to severe drought, damaging P17.4 million worth of crops and affecting 947 farmers.

Thus, Mayor Beng Climaco stressed the need for cloud seeding operations to induce rain in a bid to mitigate the impact or extent of damage on agriculture brought about by the extreme weather condition called El Niño that the city has been experiencing since December.

Engr. Lorenzo Moron, a weather specialist from Pag-Asa, an attached agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), explained, however, the mandate of cloud seeding operations is still under the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM).

“What Pag-Asa does is to conduct operational research development plan using the state-of-the-art equipment that will detect seedable clouds,” Moron said, adding that the success of the cloud seeding operations in Zamboanga will further enhance the operation the BSWM is currently conducting.

Funds for the cloud seeding operations come in part from the city government, the Zamboanga City District and the Department of Agriculture.

City Agriculturist Diosdado Placat, who represents the city government in the cloud seeding, revealed that the drought has also affected the water supply of the community irrigation systems, six of these were critical of drying up and six were highly critical.— Vic Larato