In view of dramatic air pollution, Pakistan has tested artificial rain for the first time in a metropolis of millions. The chief minister of the most populous province of Punjab, Mohsin Naqvi, reported on Saturday about the experiment in the city of Lahore in the country's east. "We are observing the impact of artificial rain," Naqvi said during a televised news conference. Lahore recorded the world's worst air quality among metropolitan cities on Saturday, according to a ranking by Swiss environmental firm IQAir.
According to the minister, the experiment was made possible with the help of the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A team of experts has been in the city for two weeks. The artificial rain was therefore initiated using the process known as “cloud seeding”. Silver iodide, a yellowish salt, is burned in clouds in combination with acetone to promote the formation of raindrops. The hope is that this will also reduce the stubborn smog.
Residents of the metropolis have been suffering from the air quality in Lahore for weeks. The provincial government responded, among other things, by closing schools. The Pakistani authorities see, among other things, industry, traffic and waste incineration as the biggest causes of air pollution.
In neighboring Iran, the authorities warned of severe air pollution in large parts of the country. According to the state news agency Irna, in addition to the capital Tehran, other major cities such as Isfahan, Ahwas and Mashhad were also affected by smog.
Report at Irna, Persian report at Tasnim (Telegram channel), Persian report at Mehr-News, Persian Iqair - worldwide ranking