Beijing, Hebei fire 1,110 rockets to disperse rain for Olympic Opening 2008-08-10 14:26:15   Print

    BEIJING, August 10 (Xinhua) -- A total of 1,110 rockets were fired from Beijing and Hebei Province in two rounds on Friday afternoon and evening to disperse rain for the 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony, said Beijing weather officials on Sunday.

    The first round of rockets were fired between 16:00 to 17:30 to deal with the convective clouds, moving toward the northwest part of Beijing, which were weak and on small scales, but were feared to cause rain in the city, said Zhang Qiang, excecutive deputy-director of the Beijing Weather Modification Office at a press conference on Sunday.

    Zhang said that the second round of firing began at 18:00, and targeted convective clouds in Beijing and those moving from Baoding area in Hebei Province toward Fangshan area in Beijing. The second round of firing lasted till 23:00.

    She said that silver iodide was used to disperse rain and clouds, but there was only 1 gram of the chemical for every 1 square kilometers. So it would have caused no hazards to people.

    "The method so far could only be used to disperse rain and cloud on small scales," said Zhang. "We could not have succeeded if there was strong and large-scale rain on Friday evening."

    Deputy director of the Beijing Meteorological Bureau Wang Jianjie said at the same conference that the rocket launch sites were located in Fangshan, Mentougou and Haidian Districts and Yanqing County, mainly western and northwestern suburban areas of Beijing, and in south Zhang Jiakou and Baoding areas in Hebei Province.

    She said the rain on Sunday morning was not a result of artificial interference.

Editor: Xinhuanet
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