Something may be rotten in Demark, but it’s worse in Southern California where emergency lines were clogged by callers complaining of foul odors Monday.
Officials are pleading with residents to refrain from using 911 lines as investigators look for the source of an odor described by hundreds of callers as having the pungent scent of rotten eggs or sulphur, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
Meanwhile, regional Air Quality Management District is investigating the source of the smell, but has not confirmed just where it’s emanating from.
Some observers speculate the obnoxious fumes are being carried by wind from the Salton Sea, where each year thousands of fish die, raising a stink.
Interim general manager of the Salton Sea Authority, Andrew Schlange, told the San Bernardino Sun that the die-off is ongoing and it’s possibly the source of the odiferous foul.
Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey told The Los Angeles Times that hundreds of phone calls have come in asking what is causing the odor. Humphrey says complaints range from the Palm Springs area to Simi Valley.
"We are not aware of any specific hazard associated" with the odor, Humphrey told the Times.
The Inland Empire area is most potently affected. However, the region is located upwind of the Salton Sea.
The Salton Sea is the largest lake in California at 378 square miles and is located in Imperial and Riverside counties in the Southeastern edge of the state. The lake is a stagnant geological depression tucked between mountain ranges and lying below sea level.
The Ventura County Star reported that officials there are also investigating the source of the smell.
"It was nauseating to my daughter and myself," Simi Valley resident Suzanne Van Laar told the paper."My concern is, where is it coming from?"