Wed, Sep 25, 2019 - Page 6 News List

‘This is daytime’: red haze from fires in Indonesia

The Guardian, JAKARTA

Residents inspect a fire in Palangkaraya, Indonesia, on Monday.

Photo: EPA-EFE

It looks like a scene from a dystopian future, but in reality it is the Indonesian island of Sumatra this week — enveloped in a toxic red haze as hundreds of hectares of virgin rainforest have been burned to the ground.

Blanketed in an eerie copper haze, one amateur video has captured skies that would not be out of place in the apocalyptic film Bladerunner 2049.

Posted on Twitter and now viewed more than 7 million times, the footage brings home the horror of the fires on the ground, and the reality of living in filthy air.

Behind the camera the person expresses disbelief saying: “Believe it or not, this is daytime, mum, just 10 minutes before 1pm.”

The footage was taken in a village in Jambi, Sumatra, and is one of the many shocking scenes shared online of the fires in recent days.

Indonesia’s meteorology, climatology and geophysics agency has explained the Mars-like skies over Jambi as “Mie scattering.”

The red color is apparently caused by the sunlight being scattered in the air by 0.7-micrometer particles.

The agency said that the pervasive red is produced when the micro-particles of pollutants in the air are equal to the wavelength of visible sunlight.

This story has been viewed 2566 times.

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