Friday, 18 April 2008

Thick Smoke Blankets Buenos Aires

Photo: Smokey Buenos Aires

Alternate headline = "Cristina Fiddled While Buenos Aires Burned" or "Where there's smoke there's FIRE!"
For more than three days in a row we've had smoke covering the city like the famous smog that covers L.A only worse. Tonight it's particularly bad as it's hard to breathe and my eyes itch and my throat is agitated. It's like a thick fog and visibility is minimal. There have been serious accidents on the roads with at least 3 fatalities and 14 injured. Ports have been closed and flights delayed. It's still warm this time of year so closing the windows is not an option. The cause is grass on farmland being burned outside the capital in the Delta del Parana region, with the winds blowing the smoke from the fires into the city and as far away as Montevideo in Uruguay .

Could this have any connection to the recent farmers strike? - Hard to say but I'm sure the conspiracy theories will be flowing. An Irishman who preferred to remain anonymous said "First, I gave up smoking in an effort to be healthier (ok maybe to save money too!), but then you had to deal with second hand smoke in pubs (smelly clothes and hair after a night out!). Then they banned smoking in pubs (Wahoo!), but for whatever reason, most of the bars in Argentina decided to ignore the ban (they're a law unto themselves here!). Then, all I want to do is go outside to get a breath of fresh air and look what happens! - The country is gone to pot I tell ye - Put that in yer pipe and smoke it!" The Minister for Health couldn't be reached for comment as he had respiratory problems - him and 90% of the residents of Buenos Aires!.

Official News article available here.


Shaunj April 18, 2008 5:09 am  

I'm confused. I think I want smoking back in Pubs. Anything is better than smelling the deathly putrid odour of a drinkers farts.

Quickroute April 18, 2008 12:16 pm  

Shaunj: ah but some of those farts have methane and its just not a good idea to matches around - BOOM!

Baino April 18, 2008 6:49 pm  

Ah but from your map it looks like Buenos Airies is in a valley so maybe a little 'wind' will shift the smoke!

I share you're pain though Quicky . .it can be like that in Sydney during bushfire season!

Quickroute April 18, 2008 8:46 pm  

Baino: I remember a few bushfires near Sydney when I was there. The forecast is they'll be around for another 5 days till the wind shifts.

strive4impact April 19, 2008 2:51 pm  

Buenos Aires is definitely an interesting city. We like it here... BUT, as you know, today the visibility is all of about 300 meters or so, and it's not supposed to clear up until next Tuesday.

Crazy stuff...

So, maybe we should start a blog post or an article with suggestions for people on what they can do to avoid being totally inundated by this cloud?

I bet surgical masks are selling really well about now.

Interesting the insinuation that the government may have started the fires. Any further thoughts on that?

Thanks for your blog post! Hey, we're only here two more weeks... anything you think we should "see" while we're here?

Quickroute April 19, 2008 4:25 pm  

Strive4Impact: aka Jonathan

Apparently the cheap surgical masks they are selling are pretty useless as the harmful micro particles go straight thru.

These fires happen every year but it's just bad luck the winds are shifting them at the moment.

In terms of what to see this is a good link

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