NEA refutes cloud seeding rumours circulating on WhatsApp
The rumours circulating on WhatsApp that the government is conducting cloud seeding to mitigate the impact of haze are untrue, said the National Environment Agency (NEA).
The message that is being widely circulated stated that the government is inducing rain ahead of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix that will be held over the weekend.
It also encouraged people to keep away from these "chemically induced rain showers".
It was signed off by a "friend working in NEA".
While the haze has been a constant this past week, heavy downpour yesterday helped mitigate the haze.
Minister of Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan said in a statemenet today that Singapore does not conduct cloud seeding and never has.
He said: "Singapore is so small that even if anybody tried to do it, the rain would almost certainly fall outside Singapore.
"Singaporeans should beware of malicious people spreading false rumours during a period when anxieties are heightened."
Cloud seeding attempts to artificially induce rain by implanting clouds with suitable particles.
NEA said: "However, there are no reliable means to validate the effectiveness of cloud seeding in Singapore. Cloud seeding also requires existing clouds as it cannot generate rain out of thin and dry air."
The agency also said that Singapore's small size and "variability of winds" would mean that even if there was induced rain, it "may not fall directly over our island".
Back in 2013, when the haze was at its worst, similar rumours about cloud seeding had also spread.
But when commenters brought up the alleged cloud seeding on Dr Balakrishnan's Facebook page, he stepped in to correct them.
Minister Tan Chuan-Jin also posted a clarification on Facebook yesterday in response to the cloud seeding rumours circulating on messaging apps and social media.