Apocalypse in Yakutia, Russia’s coldest region, as noxious smog from wildfires blocks sun

Apocalypse in Yakutia, Russia’s coldest region, as noxious smog from wildfires blocks sun

Day turns into night and thick rain of ashes pours from sky in videos shared by residents
02 August 2021

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Day turned into night earlier today in several areas of Yakutia, with the sky turning orange and red and the Sun getting completely blocked by smog


 

Devastating scenes of dark-red skies, and the Sun completely blocked by smog from wildfires are coming today from the Republic of Sakha. 

Russia’s largest territory, used to be known as the Kingdom of Permafrost is turning into the Capital of Wildfires with this summer catastrophic forest infernos engulfing two million hectares of territory. 

Residents of Yakutsk, the world’s largest city built on permafrost, have spent weeks suffocating in poisonous smog brought by the fires.

People living in settlements east, west and north of the capital complain of struggling to breathe.

 


Day turned into night earlier today in several areas of Yakutia, with the sky turning orange and red and the Sun getting completely blocked by smog


New videos filmed earlier today in Kobyaysky, Vilyuysky and Nyurbinsky districts (west and north-west of Yakutsk) looked more like scenes from horror movies, with daylight turning black and red, and ash raining from the sky. 

Several fire-extinguishing planes due for a busy working day could not take off from the Mirny airdrome in the west of Yakutia due to low visibility.

Mirny, one of Russia’s key diamond-mining towns, has been blanketed by thick smog since early this morning.

‘We don’t remember the situation ever being so bad’, said residents of the village of Kobyai who also reported blackouts and ash rains. 

Apocalypse in Yakutia, Russia’s coldest region, as noxious smog from wildfires blocks sun 


Apocalypse in Yakutia, Russia’s coldest region, as noxious smog from wildfires blocks sun 


Apocalypse in Yakutia, Russia’s coldest region, as noxious smog from wildfires blocks sun 


Apocalypse in Yakutia, Russia’s coldest region, as noxious smog from wildfires blocks sun 


Apocalypse in Yakutia, Russia’s coldest region, as noxious smog from wildfires blocks sun 
Wildfires catastrophe in Yakutia; Russia’s coldest territory have been battling wildfires since early May 2021

 

Brown bears are pushed out of their natural habitat by raging wildfires; local drivers share videos of brown bear families begging for food along the roads. No estimate yet on the damage to other wildlife has been given.

More than two thousand people are working on fighting the fires in the Republic, the local government said. 

The first wildfires were recorded as early as 4 May 2021. 

The situation got significantly worse during June, which was also the hottest and the driest month in Yakutia since records began at the end of the 19th century. 

Pictures below show the Mirny airdrome in western Yakutia, with several firefighting planes grounded because of poor visibility; brown bears pictured begging for food on roads of Yakutia; satellite images processed by Pierre Markuse and Adam platform show devastating effect of wildfires in Yakutia Apocalypse in Yakutia, Russia’s coldest region, as noxious smog from wildfires blocks sun 


Apocalypse in Yakutia, Russia’s coldest region, as noxious smog from wildfires blocks sun 


Apocalypse in Yakutia, Russia’s coldest region, as noxious smog from wildfires blocks sun 


Apocalypse in Yakutia, Russia’s coldest region, as noxious smog from wildfires blocks sun 

Vast wildfires in Russia’s Yakutia set emissions record – monitor

MOSCOW, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Summer wildfires have already produced a record amount of carbon emissions in Russia’s Siberian region of Yakutia, with still more weeks of the fire season to come, according to the European Union’s Copernicus satellite monitoring unit.

Environmentalists fear the fires, fuelled by hot weather, may thaw Siberian permafrost and peatlands, releasing even more carbon that was long stored in the frozen tundra.

So far, this year’s fires have torn through more than 4.2 million hectares in Yakutia, sending enormous plumes of smoke as far as the North Pole this week thousands of kilometers away.

The climate-warming emissions since June total more than 505 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, according to estimates by the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAM).

That is already well above last year’s record total of 450 megatonnes for the entire fire season, said Mark Parrington, a senior scientist at CAM.

Yakutia in northeastern Siberia is Russia’s largest region, known for its tundra and bitter winters. It would be the world’s eighth largest country if it were independent.

‘CONTINENTAL SCALE’

While wildfire is part of the natural forest cycle for Russia’s northern boreal forests, scientists have been stunned by the scale and intensity of blazes in recent years.

That has coincided with extreme warming in the Arctic, where average temperatures are rising more than three times as fast as the rest of the world.

Towns in Yakutia have sometimes been blanketed by acrid smoke so thick it blocks out the sun. Last month, Moscow sent military troops and planes to help the firefighting effort.

This week, smoke traveled more than 3,000 kilometres from Yakutia to the North Pole.

“What makes this particularly peculiar is that the air masses with smoke are reaching that far north. I don’t think anyone has recorded that before,” said Santiago Gassó, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Maryland.

“This is continental scale by definition.”

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