China prevents rain from playing spoilsport at Oly | world | Hindustan Times
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China prevents rain from playing spoilsport at Oly

China fired thousands of rain dispersal rockets to prevent weather from playing a spoilsport at the lavish opening ceremony of the Olympics.

world Updated: Aug 09, 2008 17:09 IST

China fired thousands of rain dispersal rockets to prevent weather from playing a spoilsport at the lavish opening ceremony of the Olympics.

Over 1,000 rain dispersal rockets were fired to blast away rain bearing clouds for the smooth ceremony, the local observatory said on Saturday, a day after the Communist giants most lavish spectacular pageant the Olympic history was launched.

"It was the largest rain dispersal operation in China, and the first time that such technology has been used to ensure the weather condition for Olympic opening", Chinese meteorologists said.

While terror has been identified as the biggest threat to Olympics, possibility of rains had emerged as the biggest source of worry for the organisers.

China is speculated to have earmarked $ 100 million for both opening and closing ceremonies, twice the amount spent on the 2004 edition of the widely hailed Athens Olympics.

In attendance at the ceremony was a galaxy of world leaders, including Congress President Sonia Gandhi, US President George Bush and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

"We fired a total of 1,104 rain dispersal rockets from 21 sites in the city between 4 pm and 11:39 pm (local time) on Saturday, which successfully intercepted a stretch of rain belt from moving towards the stadium," Guo Hu, head of the Beijing Municipal Meteorological Bureau said.

The observatory had forecast rainy weather for the Olympic night and monitored 90 per cent humidity rate.