Hail strikes after cloud seeding ops

Hail strikes after cloud seeding ops

Several areas in the North including Chiang Mai and Lampang were hit by a hailstorm over the weekend, despite a recent cloud seeding attempts by the air force to prevent hail from forming in the clouds.

In Chiang Mai, summer storms and hail damaged hundreds of properties in four districts on Saturday, according to officials.

The local office of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said yesterday that hailstorms were reported across 17 tambons in Mae Rim, Muang, San Kamphaeng and San Sai districts.

In Chiang Mai's Muang district, hailstorms damaged 579 houses and farmland in Suthep sub-district.

Power poles collapsed onto roads and caused blackouts in Fa Ham sub-district. Houses were also damaged in Mae Hia and Nong Hoi sub-districts.

In Lampang, strong winds and hail were reported in Hang Chat and Muang districts, where some houses sustained minor damages while large trees and utility poles were downed by the wind.

No word was available as to the likely cost of the damage incurred.

Earlier on Saturday, the Royal Thai Air Force, together with the Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation, took part in a cloud seeding operation over Chiang Mai and several other areas in the upper North for a third consecutive day, a source said.

The operation followed a previous mission on Friday, which saw the air force send its Alpha jet to seed silver iodine in two massive cumulus clouds over the region, which brought with them a high risk of severe summer storms.

The mission was rated as successful as no hail was reported where the cloud-seeding operation was conducted, said the source.

AVM Prapas Sonjaidee, RTAF spokesman, said the air force began deploying Alpha jets from Wing 41 in Chiang Mai at the start of the month to induce rain and prevent hail.

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