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Malaysia initiates cloud-seeding operations in Kelantan

PUTRAJAYA (ANN/THE STAR) – Malaysia will undertake a three-day cloud-seeding operation in Kelantan starting Friday. 

This initiative aims to address the depletion of the Kelantan River and mitigate the effects of adverse weather phenomena and the ongoing southwest monsoon.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that the decision was made following a request from the Kemubu Agricultural Development Authority (Kada).

The operation will be a coordinated effort involving the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma), the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry, the Meteorological Department, and the Royal Malaysian Air Force, according to Bernama.

Ahmad Zahid, who also chairs the Central Disaster Management Committee, has approved the allocation of MYR5 million from the National Disaster Relief Trust Fund for this operation.

“The three-day operations are aimed at increasing the level of the Kelantan River to irrigate affected agricultural areas.

“The move is an initial measure by the Federal Government to address the depletion of the Kelantan River and mitigate the impact of the hot weather and the southwest monsoon, which is expected to continue until the end of September,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Ahmad Zahid said low rainfall recorded from February to April had contributed to the depletion of the river level and disrupted the operation of pumps across the Kada area.

He said for the Kemubu pump house to operate fully, the Kelantan River needs to reach a level of 4.90m. However, Kada recorded only 2.19m in the second week of April.

“With this move, we hope to provide sufficient water resources in the catchment areas during the hot and dry weather, particularly in Kelantan.

“I also hope that this integrated effort can help increase water capacity in the catchment areas and ensure that the water supply can be delivered to users without any disruptions,” he added.

Ahmad Zahid also urged Nadma and the ministry to provide details of the cloud-seeding operations upon conclusion.