China can now cover one third of its territory with artificial rain, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) said on Thursday.
Wang Bangzhong, a senior CMA official, said China can produce rain over an area of three million square kilometers. Work to prevent the occurrence of hailstones covers about 500,000 square kilometers of land.
Silver-iodide shells can be fired into the air by planes, rockets and canons, Wang said, adding that China has more than 7,000 canons and more than 5,000 rocket launchers for the purpose.
China now ranks the world leader in terms of the frequency it manipulates the weather. Statistics show that the country has used artificial means to change the weather in 31 provinces in order to ease droughts, extinguish forest fires and increase water reserves in reservoirs.
(Xinhua News Agency July 27, 2007)