Malaysia: Rain brings relief to haze-hit Sabah

OLIVIA MIWIL New Straits Times 6 Apr 16;

KOTA KINABALU: Rain brought relief to several districts in the west coast and interior of Sabah yesterday.

Acting State Meteorological Department director Lim Ze Hui said more rains were forecast in weeks to come.

Rainfall was observed at Beaufort, Tambunan, Kota Belud and Tuaran on Tuesday afternoon, and Papar, Kota Kinabalu and Penampang at night.

Meanwhile, Natural Resources and Environment Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said a 200ha area at Binsuluk Forest Reserve in Beaufort is still burning while most of the fires in the Kimanis/Bongawan and Jalan Membakut/Bongawan forest areas have been extinguished.

"The fire which had destroyed 50ha of jungle at Padas Damit Forest Reserve has been put out. “Those fires were caused by farmers’ activities who carried out open burning, and later spread to the forest reserves,” he said in a statement today.

A Department of Environment spokesman said the Air Pollutant index readings at Beaufort, Papar and Kuala Penyu dropped to moderate levels yesterday and are expected to drop further.

Planes ready to seed but no clouds in sight so far
The Star 7 Apr 16;

KOTA KINABALU: Royal Malaysian Air Force aircraft are on standby in Labuan to carry cloud-seeding in Sabah, but the weather is not being cooperative.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the absence of cumulus clouds over the state has prevented any such operation.

“We can only wait and hope for such clouds,” he said, while urging religious bodies to hold special prayer sessions for divine intervention to alleviate Sabah’s prolonged dry spell.

Cumulus clouds are suitable for cloud-seeding operations.

In the tropics, cloud-seeding is an attempt to induce rain by dispersing substances into the air that serve as points where condensation can occur.

In a related development, Science, Technology and Innovation Minis­ter Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau said the Meteorological Department had provided the salt solution needed for cloud-seeding.

“However, satellite imagery over the past several days has shown the absence of cumulus clouds over Sabah’s west coast districts,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Musa said firemen, with the aid of other authorities including Forest Department rangers, had been working round the clock to put out bush and forest fires.

Weather not favourable for cloud seeding, says Sabah chief minister
RUBEN SARIO The Star 6 Apr 16;

KOTA KINABALU: The Royal Malaysian Air Force aircraft is on standby in Labuan to carry out cloud seeding in Sabah but the weather is not conducive for the mission.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman (pic) said the absence of cumulus clouds over the state had so far prevented any such operations.

“We can only wait and hope for such clouds,” he said, urging religious bodies to hold special prayer sessions to alleviate Sabah’s prolonged dry spell.

In a related development, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau said the Meteorological Services Department (MetMalaysia) had provided the RMAF the salt solution needed for the cloud seeding.

“However satellite imagery over the past several days have shown the absence of cumulus clouds over Sabah’s west coast districts,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Musa said firemen with the help of other authorities including Forest Department rangers had been working around the clock to douse out bush and forest fires.

According to the Fire and Rescue Services Department, there were 23 hotspots around the state since April 6.

Acknowledging that fires and the ongoing drought had destroyed food crops including swathes of padi field and fruit trees, Musa said officials from the Agriculture Department had been assessing the damages.

“We will be assisting the affected farmers in the immediate and long term,” Musa added.

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