China fights drought with chemical cloud-seeding

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February 8, 2009 12:57

 
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Parts of China's parched north got light rain after authorities fired shells loaded with cloud-seeding chemicals into the sky, but there was no end in sight for its worst drought in five decades, the government said Sunday. 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.

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