At an altitude of just 915 meters, flares attached to both sides of the Cessna 172 aircraft lit up and dispersed chemicals over Malaysia on Wednesday, September 18.
Malaysia hopes that cloud seeding, releasing chemicals such as sodium chloride and magnesium oxide into the air from aircraft, will encourage water droplets to form and rain to fall. Southeast Asia is in its dry season and fires are flaring up, especially in Indonesia where forest blazes are started to clear land for plantations. Smoke is drifting across the region, raising worries about health and economic damage, especially to tourism.
AF Jets, the firm carrying out the seeding flights over Selangor state, has been doing it for 10 years and boasts a success rate of nearly 90%. Malaysia's air force carried out cloud seeding in three states last weekend, with more expected on Thursday, September 19. Despite scattered rain following the seeding, haze conditions worsened on Wednesday. (Reuters)