Apocalypse in Yakutia: Smog from forest fires blocks the sun

Day alternates with night, and thick ashy rain pours from the sky – these are the videos residents share. In several areas of Yakutia, day has turned into night, the sky has turned orange-red, and the sun is completely blocked by smog.

Horrifying pictures of dark red sky and sun completely covered by smog from forest fires come from the Sakha Republic.

Russia’s largest territory, known as the realm of permafrost, and now it is turning into the capital of forest fires: catastrophic forest fires have engulfed two million hectares of land this summer.

Residents of Yakutsk, the world’s largest city built on permafrost, suffocate for weeks in the toxic smog brought on by the fires.

People living in villages to the east, west and north of the capital complain that they have difficulty breathing.

In several areas of Yakutia, day has turned to night, the sky has turned orange-red, and the sun is completely blocked by smog.

New videos shot in the Kobyaisky, Vilyuisky and Nyurba districts (west and northwest of Yakutsk) look more like scenes from horror movies: daylight turned black and red, and ash falls from the sky.

Several firefighting planes, which had a busy day ahead of them, were unable to take off from the Mirny airfield in western Yakutia due to poor visibility.

Mirny, one of Russia’s key diamond mining towns, has been shrouded in thick smog since early morning.

“We don’t remember the situation ever being this bad,” said residents of the village of Kobiai, who also reported power outages and ashy rains.

Brown bears have been displaced from their natural habitat by raging wildfires; local drivers share videos of brown bear families begging for food along the roads. Damage to other wildlife has not yet been assessed.

More than two thousand people are working to put out fires in the country, local authorities said.

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

The situation worsened considerably in June, which was also the hottest and driest month in Yakutia since records began in the late 19th century.

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