Issue of April 7, 2019
     
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Cloud seeding in CAR planned to address effects of El Niño
by PNA

The Cordillera Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) is in talks with the Philippine Air Force in Baguio for the conduct of cloud seeding operations to address the effects of the “weak” El Niño or the prolonged dry spell in the country, an official said Friday.

“We have started anticipating the effects of El Niño since January. As early as February, we have already formed the Joint Task Force El Niño that will focus on monitoring and assuring that actions are done,” Office of Civil Defense Regional Director and regional DRRMC Chair Albert Mogol said.

Authorities are also distributing surface pump and shallow tube well pumps for irrigation, Mogol added.

According to the country’s weather bureau, the Philippines is experiencing an agricultural drought that causes farmlands to dry up due to lack of water. This is different from the hydromet drought that causes a drop in the water level of aquifers.

Mogol said the National Irrigation Authority-Cordillera has prepositioned water pumps in all provinces.

In Kalinga, which is considered the rice granary of the Cordillera, NIA hydrologist Fremer William reported during the task force meeting on March 25 that they have completed the distribution of surface and shallow tube well pumps.

Mogol said the Department of Agriculture-CAR has been tasked to coordinate with the PAF for aerial assessment of the reported P1.2-billion damage in agriculture in the Cordillera.

Ifugao, Kalinga, and Apayao are eyed for cloud seeding. The declaration of a state of calamity in Paracelis in Mountain Province also shows that further ground assessment must be done to determine the actual situation.


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