Green Clouds Over Moscow Not Toxic, Just Pollen Say Authorities
The Russian emergencies ministry rushed to quell fears on Thursday (April 26) that green clouds over Moscow were the result of a high pollen count—not a chemical explosion.
The clouds were spotted over Moscow late Thursday afternoon preceding an evening downpour.
The emergencies ministry said the clouds were caused by the blooming of several species of trees, and resulted in a yellow-green pollen coating pavement, windows, and cars.
Russian television talked to a biologist in Moscow who said pollen counts from Russian birch trees were exceptionally high.
[Svetlana Polevova, Biologist]:
"Actually the amount of pollen from every plant species changes from year to year and has its endogenetic rhythm, as with apple crops for example. This season the birch trees have the maximum amount of pollen dust, as we can see at this latitude in our region."
Muscovites, who strolled through green boulevards said the pollen problem was out of the ordinary, and some had heard rumors about the green haze.
[Alexander, Moscow Resident]:
"I heard two versions. The first one was that some chemical factory in Podolsk (city south of Moscow) had exploded, that there was some accident, but then all of it was disproved. They said it was birch pollen. I don't know, I think it was pollen, but to be honest I have never seen something like this before.”
[Maria, Moscow Resident]:
"It seems to happen from time to time, but sometimes it's more intensive, sometimes less, so it didn't worry me at all, because I'm absolutely not allergic, that's why I had no problems with it.”
Muscovite Vitaly agreed.
[Vitaly, Moscow Resident]:
"It's not that worrying at all. I think it neither worried people nor prevented them from doing anything. Everybody continued to walk on the streets, to do their jobs etcetera."
Meteorologists said a sudden rise in temperatures in Moscow led trees to bloom quickly.