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Solidum sees danger in cloud seeding on ashfall affected areas

/ 11:53 AM January 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — While cloud seeding may help wash away ashfall in areas hit by the eruption of the Taal Volcano, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) director Renato Solidum sees danger in doing such.

“It helps to wash down the ashes but sometimes people would feel the acidity…it’s very difficult to cloud seed,” Solidum said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel’s “Headstart” on Wednesday.

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“If the rain that would fall over the area is significant in volume, then you might loosen and erode many of the ashes downslope in steep areas, that will be converted to sediment-laden flood flows. If it is with so much solid (particles), it can become lahar. So there is danger also,” he added.

Earlier, Senate President Vicente Sotto III proposed cloud seeding operation over areas affected by ashfall triggered by Taal’s eruption.

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Solidum had earlier said that Sotto’s proposal needs further study.

“It is very difficult to cloud seed when there are no clouds to seed. And in fact when there is an eruption you might notice that there is rainfall associated with it. As the acids themselves can be the seed of the rain,” he said.

“During the initial activity of the eruption of Taal, people notice that the ashes were wet, so it’s like mud when it landed,” he added.

Over the weekend, Taal spewed a kilometer-high column of ash prompting the evacuation of thousands of residents in affected areas.

Taal Volcano is currently on Alert Level 4 which means that “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days,” according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

Ashfall from Taal, the country’s second-most-active-volcano, affected nearby provinces and has reached as far as Quezon City.

Edited by MUF
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TAGS: cloud seeding, Nation, news, Phivolcs, Taal Volcano eruption
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