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Negros Occidental cloud seeding on hold

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The cloud seeding operations in Negros Occidental were held in abeyance, over fears that the rains it may induce could cause lahar flow in areas affected by the phreatic eruption of Kanlaon volcano, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson disclosed yesterday.

Lacson said that the cloud seeding operations in Iloilo will, however, push through.

There is a tendency that these lahar flows will continue, especially if there are heavy rains, he added.

Manuel Lamata, president of the United Sugar Producers Federation (UNIFED), yesterday clarified that it was natural rains that was experienced in some areas of Negros Occidental on Tuesday.

The two airplanes of Lamata were contracted to conduct cloud seeding operations, both in Negros Occidental and Panay.

Regarding when the cloud seeding operations will start in Negros Occidental, Lacson said “we will have to be guided about by the possible lahar flow. If PHIVOLCS says it is possible, I think we will have to make do with the natural rains that are coming already.”

Sugar planters earlier told Lacson that they still want more rain, due to the effects of the drought on their crops.

In an interview with RMN DYHB, Lamata said they still need the cloud seeding operations, as sugarcane crops need more rain, and also to remove ash fall from their crops, and lessen the acidity of the soil.

The Bureau of Soils and Water Management of the Department of Agriculture implements the cloud seeding operations in Western Visayas.*

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