News & Politics

As if We Didn't Have Enough to Worry About, a Forest Fire Is Raging Near Chernobyl

This 1986 aerial view of the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine shows damage from an explosion and fire in reactor four on April 26, 1986 that sent large amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere. Ten years after the world's worst nuclear accident, the plant is still running due to a severe shortage of energy in Ukraine. (AP Photo/ Volodymyr Repik)

While “China’s Chernobyl” is still keeping the world’s economy on its knees, the actual Chernobyl is back in the headlines.

Forest fires that have been burning for several days in northern Ukraine are now no more than a few kilometres from the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear plant, reports say.

Tour operator Yaroslav Emelianenko said one had reached the abandoned town of Pripyat, which used to serve the plant.

He said it was now just 2km (1.24 miles) from where the most dangerous waste from the plant was stored.

Radiation levels are reportedly rising as the wildfires burn closer to the abandoned and disastrous nuclear plant.

The NGO’s Russia branch, quoted by Reuters, said the largest fire covered 34,000 hectares, while a second fire just a kilometre from the former plant was 12,000 hectares in area.

The fire has been burning since April 4 and is not yet contained. Chernobyl is of course the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident, in 1986 when Russia was the communist Soviet Union.

What do coronavirus and Chernobyl have in common?

Communist lies and cover-ups.

But wait…there’s more in the realm of disaster going on out there. You may have heard that the Krakatoa caldera popped off late last week in its first eruption since 2018. Now the volcanic ground under Iceland is rumbling too.

Ten years ago, Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted, sending rock and ash miles up into the air and disrupting global flight schedules for weeks. That volcanic episode was Iceland’s first since the 10th century. That volcanic activity went on for about three centuries.

What’s that Chinese curse about living in “interesting times…”?