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Phivolcs: Cloud seeding in ashfall affected areas needs study

By: - Reporter / @KHallareINQ
09:06 AM January 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The proposal of cloud seeding in areas affected by ashfall from the eruption of the Taal Volcano still needs further study, the director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.

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“That has to be studied. In general, cloud [seeding] is a good idea, but how to operationalize it, you really have to study,” Phivolcs director and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Dr. Renato Solidum said in a press briefing Tuesday.

Solidum first explained that the rain would be good to wash down the ash caused by the volcanic eruption.

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“Pero kung gaanong kalaking ulan ang mapo-produce nyan at kung saan tatama yung ulan, obviously dapat meron ideal condition na ika-cloud seed mo,” Solidum added.

(But the amount of rain that it would produce and where would it fall, obviously there should be an ideal condition where you will cloud seed.)

This comes after Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III earlier made his proposal, saying that it would reduce the bad effects of the ashfall.

Asked further if this would lead to a threat of lahar, Solidum answered: “Well, this has to be studied. Kung titignan mabuti, obviously kung masyado maraming tubig, eh mawa-wash down yung abo sa gilid, at may banta ng flood or lahar dahil wina-wash down]  yung mga abo.”

(If you look at it, obviously if there is too much water, it will wash down the ash, and could cause a flood or lahar because it is washing down the ash.)

Lahar, according to the United States Geological Survey, is described as “hot or cold mixture of water and rock fragments that flows down the slopes of a volcano and typically enters a river valley.”

Solidum added that the eruption itself already triggered the process of cloud seeding.

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“But then remember, pag nagkakaroon ng eruption, yung pag-angat ng mainit na atmosphere at yung abo mismo ay nagti-trigger din ng rainfall (When an eruption occurs, the rise of the warm atmosphere, and the ash as well, can trigger rainfall,” Solidum explained.

“Actually na-cloud seed ng eruption yung atmosphere. Pero mismo yung warm air and the interaction dun sa atmosphere can also trigger precipitation.”

(Actually, the eruption already had cloud seed the atmosphere. The warm air and interaction from the atmosphere can also trigger precipitation.)

Edited by MUF
Inquirer calls for support for the victims of Taal volcano eruption
Responding to appeals for help, the Inquirer is extending its relief to the families affected by the recent eruption of Taal volcano.
Cash donations may be deposited in the Inquirer Foundation Corp. Banco De Oro (BDO) Current Account No: 007960018860.
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TAGS: cloud seeding, Phivolcs, Renato Solidum, Taal Volcano, Tito Sotto
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