CHENNAI: Though the fire in empty land in Koyambedu belonging to Chennai Metrowater, did not cause property damage, the thick black smoke that engulfed the large residential areas, has caused some discomfort to the people.
The situation would have much worse, if not for clear skies. Due to clear weather, the pollutants have dispersed vertically into the atmosphere which otherwise would have been fatal for the local residents, especially for children and elderly.
Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) air quality monitoring system stationed in Koyambedu, has breached the threshold limits of the particulate matter (PM10) - although only briefly. “Our officials have visited the spot. There is no greater public hazard as the pollutants have dispersed into the atmosphere quickly under favourable conditions,” a TNPCB official said.
An assistant health inspector of Chennai Corporation ruled out any health crisis. But, such a fire in a densely populated city like Chennai, can easily turn fatal. Health experts suggest some basic precautionary measures to be taken in the event of smoke entering the houses as smoke is more dangerous than the flames themselves.
People can first cover mouth and nose with a wet cloth and sink low into the ground as the smoke will rise to the ceiling. If you can’t find a way out of the room you are in, seal the points where smoke can enter with wet clothes like sheets and towels, so it doesn’t enter the space.