Last month the most populous city of Brazil, Sao Paulo, suddenly plunged into darkness in the middle of the day. The city was covered with thick black smog which was created by the burning amazon fires. The images of the city buried in darkness quickly went viral and sent shock waves through the internet. Recently, citizens of another city have suffered a very similar incident.

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People of Mekar Sari village in Jambi province, Indonesia were taken aback by an alarming sight – all of their surroundings have turned completely red. The village was covered by thick blood-red haze. As it turns out, this disturbing sighting is caused by the widespread forest fires which are raging in the province.

According to the Straits Times, the phenomenon is called Rayleigh Scattering, which happens when the haze moves away fro hot spots.

“Rayleigh Scattering happens when sunlight is dispersed by smoke, dust or airborne particles that filter shorter wavelengths and release longer wavelengths that are in the orange or red spectrum, making the area appear to be dim and red,” said Indonesia National Board for Disaster Management information chief Agus Wibowo Soet.

He stated that the phenomenon has no adverse effects on human vision. However, the concerned citizen who took to Facebook to bring attention to the problem, wrote that lots of people complained of “breathing difficulties, sore throat, painful eyes” and other symptoms.

Even though the haze occurs annually, this year was particularly bad. The fires may have been started by illegal burning to clear the land for farming, however, they began spreading uncontrollably and polluted the country.

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