When Whether Kills - SMOGging Across Globe
|Mills in Donoro|
Residents of London woke up to a thick fog which came from nowhere. London is infamously in news for its weather from time to time – whether a blizzard or fog which is somehow an indicator of good summer – but this time the situation was different. It was early winters in December in 1952 which created havoc of unmeasurable extent. This was the Great Smog of London which resulted in smoky clouds throughout the city. Residents describe the haze as warm, smelly, dirty, black, smoky fog engulfing everything like a film. The traffic was brought to the stand still and an auditorium performance had to be stopped as spectators could not see the stage. Official toll is 4000 but unclassified information puts the number at 12000.
|Hazed City of London|
London was surely unprepared for such massive incident. The solutions that were brought forward were short term in consideration and hole-plugging attempts in nature. Gas masks were distributed throughout the city to save residents from next fog. Doctors recommended people to leave the city to save themselves from the aftermath. However, none of these were going to solve the basic problem. Finally, Clean Air Act was introduced in the British Parliament which mandated restrictions for industries to add pollution to the air. Then, alternatives to power plants were sought and attempts were made to shift them out of the urban areas. The point being all these steps came in too late and the after loss of 10s of 1000s of lives.
|Masked Capital of China|
The entire country was in jubilation and celebratory mood as post-Diwali festivities were still in the air. But happiness and joy had an unpleasant companion when the air is concerned – Particulate N-25 and N-100s. Residents woke up to a coughing and inflammatory lungs leading to short breaths. Kids were crying unaware of the hazard they were inhaling and elders had a tough time keeping their breath steady. Haziness on the outside only confirmed the suspicion as soon as one moved out of the house. What seemed like an early arrival of winters was nothing but poison in the atmosphere. Everyone was shocked as to what had bestowed on the capital city. It was not that higher level of pollution was not expected as the fireworks were supposed to create an aftermath. However, this was not something that the city was prepared for. It was definitely a cloud that created doubts in every mind as to what this was. Smoke emanating from farm fires raging across agricultural fields of neighboring Punjab and Haryana worsened the situation.
|The Night Shot|
|Unclear Buildings and Smoky Clouds|