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Mushroom-Shaped Cloud Near Chernobyl Plant Sparks Panic Among Ukrainians

CC0 / / Anvil cloud
Anvil cloud - Sputnik International
The sighting was spotted two months after huge wildfires in the Chernobyl exclusion zone destroyed over 27,000 acres of forest and resulted in a spike of radiation levels in the area, though Ukrainian authorities later assured that radiation was below the permissible level.

A huge mushroom-shaped cloud spotted 96 kilometres from Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, has sparked hysteria among residents of nearby areas. After photos of the cloud were posted online, concerned residents of the Ukrainian capital Kiev, which is located less than 100 kilometres from the nuclear power plant, claimed that there was another nuclear accident. Others insisted that the mysterious looking cloud was of extraterrestrial origin. “Is that a UFO?”, wrote one netizen.

Ukraine’s State Emergency Service rushed to soothe residents saying that the sighting has nothing to do with nuclear accidents.

"Dear Friends, we urge everyone, who saw the mushroom-shaped cloud, not to panic. On the contrary you should be happy as you were lucky to witness a rare natural phenomenon called the anvil. Tell us, which one of you got scared?", the ministry wrote in a statement on Facebook.

The cumulonimbus cloud, commonly known as an anvil cloud for its characteristic flat dome, is formed from water vapour carried by powerful upward air currents. This allows these clouds to stay in the same place no matter how strong the wind blows. The ministry said such clouds were previously spotted in the Kiev region, Ternopil and Vinnytsia provinces. However, cumulonimbus clouds are not totally harmless as they are capable of producing lightning and tornadoes and other severe weather events.

In this photo made on Saturday, April 4, 2020, an aerial view of a forest fire burning near the village of Volodymyrivka in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Ukraine - Sputnik International
'Can We Get a F**king Break?' Netizens Hysterical About Chernobyl Radiation Spike

The bizarre cloud was spotted two months after huge wildfires destroyed over 27,000 acres of forests near the Chernobyl exclusion zone, which resulted in a spike of radiation in the area. Residents of Kiev, located less than 100 km away from the plant, were told to stay indoors and shut windows as smoke from the fires blanketed the capital. Despite the measures Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko claimed that radiation levels were below the permissible level.

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