China's War Against Weather
In Shandong Province, cannon troops of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) had fired more than 300 rockets and 2,000 artillery shells in cloud-seeding operations by 5 p.m. Sunday. The operations brought an average of 3 millimeters of rain to the province by 9 p.m., according to the provincial meteorological agency.
China's army is well
trained and huge with
many resources. It is
good policy to use them
to try to help people
affected by drought,
China's armed forces, which have frequently battled natural disasters, have been mobilized to help farmers cope with a severe drought that has jeopardized crops, people and livestock.
The Liberation Army Daily reported Monday that 2,325 armed police and 76 vehicles have been dispatched to farm areas in the central province of Henan since Friday. Soldiers helped farmers dredge aqueducts and irrigate more than 2,900 mu (about 193 hectares) of crops.
The newspaper carried a photo showing air force pilots, technicians and weather-control officials discussing plans to create rain in Henan and Anhui provinces, both hit hard by drought.
Two air freighters joined the mission and successfully created moderate rain Sunday in northwest Henan and north Anhui, covering more than 100,000 square kilometers (10 million ha), according to the newspaper.
This is one of
the worst droughts
in China's history.
Beijing has declared an emergency across China's north, where 4.4 million people lack adequate drinking water and winter wheat crops are withering.
"The drought situation will not be eased in the near future," said a national weather bureau statement.
Some areas got a sprinkling of rain and sleet Saturday and Sunday after clouds were hit with 2,392 rockets and 409 cannon shells loaded with chemicals, the weather bureau said. It said clouds were thin and moving out of the region, making conditions poor for more rainmaking.