Watch: Pakistan uses artificial rain in Lahore against smog- a gift from UAE | World News - Hindustan Times
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Watch: Pakistan uses artificial rain in Lahore against smog- a gift from UAE

Dec 16, 2023 08:00 PM IST

Pakistan Artificial Rain: The rain was a “gift” provided by the United Arab Emirates, caretaker chief minister of Punjab Mohsin Naqvi, said.

Artificial rain was used for the first time in Pakistan to combat hazardous levels of smog in Lahore, the provincial government said. This marked the first experiment of its kind in the South Asian country. In the city, planes equipped with cloud seeding equipment were flown over 10 areas. Lahore has been ranked as one of the worst places globally for air pollution.

Pakistan Artificial Rain: A family rides a bike amid rain in Lahore.(AFP)
Pakistan Artificial Rain: A family rides a bike amid rain in Lahore.(AFP)

The rain was a “gift” provided by the United Arab Emirates, caretaker chief minister of Punjab Mohsin Naqvi, said. "Teams from the UAE, along with two planes, arrived here about 10 to 12 days ago. They used 48 flares to create the rain," he added. The team would know soon what effect the "artificial rain" had.

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The UAE has used cloud seeding to create rain in the arid expanse of the country before. The method involves releasing common salt- a mixture of different salts-into clouds. These crystals encourage condensation to form as rain and has been deployed in dozens of countries, including the United States and China.

Air pollution in Pakistan

Air pollution has worsened in Pakistan in recent years. Experts have blamed low-grade diesel fumes and smoke from seasonal crop burn off for the pollution. Lahore suffers the most from the toxic smog, that affects more than 11 million residents in the city during the winter season. Levels of PM2.5 pollutants were measured as hazardous in Lahore at more than 66 times the World Health Organization's danger limits.

As per WHO, prolonged exposure to polluted air can trigger strokes, heart disease, lung cancer and respiratory diseases. Previously, Lahore has used various methods to reduce air pollution- spraying water on roads, weekend shutdowns of schools, factories and markets.

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