Terrified Muscovites can put away their gas masks and take out their Claritin.
A sinister-looking green cloud looming in the sky over Moscow Thursday is merely the result of increased pollen levels, city officials told Russia’s Interfax News Agency.
“High heat, which came to the Moscow region with an intense wind, caused the formation of a large amount of pollen, which, mixing and moving in the air, can form such a cloud,” a government source told Interfax.
The announcement came after rumors of a chemical attack or industrial accident spread like wildfire across Twitter and other social media sites.
Tip: Fortean Times Daily News
“MASSIVE GREEN ASHES COVER MOSCOW. RUMORS ON CHEMICHAL ACCIDENT. WITNESS REPORTS ON DOZENS OF AMBULANCES DRIVING TO SADOVOE KOLCO,” finance blogger @russian—market tweeted early Thursday.
Yikes. Panic spread as residents were reminded of the Chernobyl incident 26 years earlier. Social media has the ability to spread rumor far and wide very quickly. Any observation may been attributed to an erroneous cause, like the ambulances. This feeds into the myth and it grows.
Looks like smog/air pollution but cars were covered with fine pollen.