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Rumors of Acidic rain in Pakistan are false, confirmed by many sources

There are many messages being sent in Pakistan about acidic rain. In first message following text is displayed.

Be careful: There is a possibility of acid rain from 20th to 28th of this month. The dark circle appeared around the moon on 17th of last month and this was an indication of an acid rain. Apparently, this happens once in 750 years. It rains normally but it may cause skin cancer if you expose yourself to it. This is coming from NASA, warn your family and friends.

Another message I also got is

4th power plant of japan is explored. Due to this incident there is possibility of acidic rain in upcoming days. It may cause to burn your hairs or make you blind. Inform everyone so no one get out in rain, its very urgent. Notification issued by Pakistan as well as other nearby countries.

Here is answer of 1st rumor

ISLAMABAD (APP) – Director General of Pakistan Meteorological
Department (PMD) Dr Qamaruz Zaman Chaudhry refuted the rumours about
‘acid rain’ in the coming week saying, “the acid rain alerts being
connected with NASA is false.”
Talking to this agency on Thursday,
he said the rumours spread about chances of ‘acid rain’ on coming April
20-28, through messages, emails and other blogs were all false.
The message saying “Be careful: There is a possibility of acid rain from 20th to 28th of this month.
The
dark circle appeared around the moon on 17th of last month and this was
an indication of an acid rain. Apparently, this happens once in 750
years.
It rains normally but it may cause skin cancer if you expose
yourself to it. This is coming from NASA, warn your family and
friends,” has created panic among people.
The sms which has no connection with the reality is being forwarded rapidly in different circles of the society.
“Please,
forward this alert sms to all the people you care,” insisted Humaira
while forwarding the sms to her friends at a local office.
According
to reports, the similar messages were delivered to people in different
parts of the world including Nigeria, Africa and many others causing
panic and fear among them.
The time period of acid rain circulated through messages in these countries was between March 20 to March 28.
A meteorologist at the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration,
NASA, an independent agency of the United States government responsible
for aviation and spaceflight described reports that acid rains due to
fall from the 20th to the 28th of March as inaccurate and false, said
an official source.
A Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) expert with
NASA, Bill Patzert in his response to an inquiry said a black or dark
circle around the moon is a common occurrence in space and has no
relationship whatsoever with acid rain.
“Dark circles around the
moon are more common than you realize. Basically it’s an optical
illusion when you get very clear skies and fine ice particle in the
upper atmosphere.
“What you get is the moon, a dark circle round it, then a sky lit up with diffracted moonlight. It looks pretty, that is all.
Nothing mystical or paranormal at all,” he added.

Here is answer of 2nd rumor

Amid rumours spreading through SMS about danger of nuclear clouds and acid rain after two hydrogen explosions driven by earthquake at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, the weather experts have said it is highly unlikely that any radiation capable of causing harm to people can travel long distance and survive more than few days in the atmosphere.

Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) Director General Arif Mahmood told ‘The News’ that the text messages do not make any sense because only Westerly winds hit areas of Pakistan from December to April and Japan lies in North East so there is no wind phenomenon that can bring winds or clouds from Japan towards this region.

It is pertinent to mention here that the distance of Tokyo from Pakistan is nearly 6,921 km and even the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, which had a far more serious release of radioactivity, was unable to spread significant contamination more than 1,000 miles.

“The rumours about nuclear clouds and acid rain do not make any sense, as the radiation cannot survive more than few days in the atmosphere and even if there is any nuclear cloud the radiation would die down before it reaches any far away area,” he said.

The United Nations atomic watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has declared the radiation levels from the Fukushima nuclear power plant normal.

“Radiation dose rate measurements observed at four locations around the plant’s perimeter over a 16-hour period on 13 March were all normal,” the IAEA said in a statement.

The radiation releases have prompted Japan on Tuesday to order 140,000 people to seal themselves indoors and a 30-kilometer (19-mile) no-fly zone was imposed around the site for commercial traffic.

The health experts said only a very large dose of radiation delivered to the whole body over a short time can result in the death of the exposed person within days. Some of the health effects of exposure to radiation do not appear unless a certain quite large dose is absorbed. However, many other effects, especially cancers are readily detectable and occur more often in those with moderate doses.

Arif Mehmood said they have been continuously monitoring the winds and clouds entering this region and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) is already equipped with state-of-the-art technology and it is keeping vigil over concentration of radiation in the atmosphere.

“As far as our information is concerned the concentration of radiation in the air is quite normal and we saw nothing unusual since blasts in Japan’s nuclear plants,” he said. The data compiled by IAEA stated on average, radiation exposure of the common people due to all natural sources amounts to about 2.4 mSv a year — though this figure can vary, depending on the geographical location by several hundred per cent.

PMD chief meteorologist Hazrat Mir told this correspondent that precautionary measures should always be taken at all levels, but “if we examine the ground realities it is quite obvious that there is no danger of any acid rain in Pakistan or surrounding areas.” As far as acid rain is concerned the areas where cement factories release SO2 the rain in those areas sometimes become acidic because SO2 and H20 result in formation of sulphuric acid.

“We suggest people to take precautionary measures because this practice should be strengthened in our daily life. But, obviously, there is no point to get worried about any untoward happening in the wake of blasts in Japan’s nuclear plants,” he said.

 

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