KUCHING, June 19 (Bernama) -- A cloud seeding operation will be conducted in Sarawak to produce rain, in view of the long dry spell predicted to last until September this year.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan said the operation was expected to begin next week, and would focus on producing rain in water-catchment areas.
"The indication based on the weather pattern over the next few months will be drier than normal," he said after chairing the state's disaster and relief management committee at his office here Friday.
Apart from cloud seeding, Dr Chan said, the drainage and irrigation department (DID) had been requested to raise the water-level in peat swamp areas in Sarawak.
He said it was a necessary precaution to prevent peat swamp fires which were difficult to contain when they started to spread out.
"We are looking to raise the water-level, mostly at peat swamp areas located in the northern part of Sarawak, as well as in the central part of the state," he said.
He said, among areas identified were in Mukah (central region) and Bintulu and Miri in the northern part of the state.
He said the possibility of haze returning to Sarawak was high if the present weather pattern continued, adding that it was better to be prepared now to face the haze.
Sarawak is the first state to have a haze emergency declared after the API breached the 600-mark on Sept 19, 1997, touching a high of 851 at one time.