Jakarta officials warn more extreme rainfall expected -- announce the use of Weather Modification Technology to combat floods

Jakarta officials warn more extreme rainfall expected -- announce the use of Weather Modification Technology to combat floods

A day after massive floods hit Jakarta, claiming the lives of at least 23 people, city officials warned residents and tourists more extreme rainfall is expected through the rest of the month and up to at least mid-February 2020.

At least 23 people were killed since heavy rains started on December 31, 2019, and at least 8 are still missing. In Jakarta alone, more than 62 000 people were forced to evacuate while several million lost power, drinking water and internet connections.

On January 2, the Head of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), Dwikorita Karnawati, warned residents and tourists more extreme rainfall is expected over the next two weeks as the flow of wet air from East Africa reaches the country on January 10 through 15. Furthermore, the movement of wet airflow will also continue in late January to mid-February 2020.

A number of regions that are predicted to be affected by rain with high to extreme intensity according to the BMKG prediction include central Sumatra, Java, southern Kalimantan, and southern Sulawesi to the southeast. Therefore, the community is asked to prepare everything in anticipation of possible disasters.

In an effort to anticipate potential disasters from such extreme weather forecasts, the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology's (BPPT) - Weather Modification Technology Center is ready to help tackle major flooding with Weather Modification Technology (TMC).

BPPT will use TMC to accelerate the process of rainfall in a hope the rain would fall before the clouds reach the capital and surrounding areas.

The plan is to cause the rain in the Sunda Strait or Lambung, but if the wind blows to the east, the rainfall will be directed to dams such as Jatiluhur and Jatigede.

To help the TMC process BPPT together with BNPB and the TNI will deploy 2 types of aircraft -- CN295 and Casa. 

According to BPPT, the basic principle behind the technology is prevention through moving rain. 

In October 2019, the agency said they have successfully dropped hundreds of cubic meters of rainfall to overcome the widespread forest fires across Kalimantan and Sumatra.

Featured image credit: BASARNAS

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