On the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, fear spread when green clouds were seen in the skies over Moscow. Experts say don't worry, it's only birch pollen.
People in the Russian capital were nervous today on spotting mysterious green clouds in the sky. The scene sparked doomsday theories and fears of a chemical disaster polluting the capital.
According to experts at the Emergencies Ministry the clouds are merely composed of birch pollen.
Moscow Twitter users were not convinced and tweeted alarming messages, such as "Sky has turned completely green in Moscow's south!" and "The factory in Kaluga is destroyed!".
There were also many 911 calls made during the day.
Citizens' theories ranged from apocalyptic signs, to alien invasion, to burning chemical plants. Some believe that the authorities are hiding the truth from the public. One popular Russian blogger posted: “Pollen is just an excuse. It might as well be the beginning of the Apocalypse!”
Paranoia over the odd phenomenon coincides with the 26th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster which spread more fear among residents.
However, biologists have stated that the birch trees in the city starting blooming yesterday. Birch pollen is a strong allergen and is likely the cause of so many Muscovites sneezing.
Biologist Vladimir Murashov told Ria-Novosti: “This pollen can stay in the air for quite a long time – around four weeks. The wind can carry it ten kilometers from the tree.”
People who suffer from hay fever have been strongly advised to take preventative measures.