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Pakistan's authorities have employed artificial rain for the first time to address the perilous levels of smog in Lahore. Photo AFP

Pakistan uses artificial rain to clear smog

ByYusuf Shukri

PAKISTAN, Dec 18: Pakistan’s authorities have employed artificial rain for the first time to address the perilous levels of smog in Lahore, a city renowned for having the most severe air pollution globally.

Caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab, Mohsin Naqvi said the cloud seeding project is the first of its kind in the South Asian country provided by United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“The cloud seeding team from UAE, along with two planes have arrived in Lahore about 10 to 12 days ago.

“A total of 48 flares were used to create the artificial rain and so far, it has drizzled in at least 10 areas of Lahore.

“We will continue to monitor the impact of the artificial rain within a radius of 15km,” added Naqvi who said the team would obtain data on its effectiveness by Saturday night.

In assuring the safety of artificial rain, Naqvi pointed to over 1,000 annual missions by the UAE and similar technologies used globally, including in the United States, China, and India.

The UAE has notably increased cloud seeding to induce rain in its arid regions. The process involves releasing salts into clouds, promoting condensation and rain formation.

Air pollution in Pakistan, exacerbated by factors like low-grade diesel fumes and crop burning, particularly affects Lahore, impacting over 11 million residents.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that Lahore’s smog pollutants surpass safety limits significantly, posing severe health risks such as strokes, heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory issues. – TVS

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