Wed, Jun 18, 2008
Cloud Seeding Operation Goes Awry
The owner of a suburban Moscow home
feels like her government is dumping on her. Can't say we blame
her... after all, we'd probably feel the same, too, if a government
plane had dropped a sack of cement on our house.
Reuters reports a Russian air force aircraft accidentally
dropped the 55-lb bag of cement on the home last week, during a
seed-clouding exercise over the city.
"A pack of cement used in creating ... good weather in the
capital region ... failed to pulverize completely at high altitude
and fell on the roof of a house, making a hole about 80-100 cm
(2.5-3 ft)," police in the suburb of Naro-Fominsk told RIA-Novosti
A spokesman for the Russian Air Force refused to comment on the
incident. Such cloud-seeing exercises are common ahead of public
holidays -- June 12 was Russia Day, commemorating the break-up of
the Soviet Union and formation of the Russian Federation -- to
literally prevent Mother Nature from raining on their parades.
Up to 12 aircraft are used for such operations, all carrying
silver iodide, liquid nitrogen and cement powder to dry up
moisture. Last week's incident was reportedly the first glitch in
No one inside the home was injured. The homeowner refused an
offer of 50,000 rubles from the air force -- that's only about
$2,100 US -- and said she planned to instead sue for damages.
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