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NewsMine war-on-terror iraq Viewing Item
Russian town feared nuclear effects
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Weather phenomenon sparks nuclear attack fears
Residents of the capital of the Russian Republic of Dagestan say they thought they had become the victims of a nuclear attack after a thick layer of salt covered their city.
Thousands of cars and homes in Makhachkala, on the shores of the Caspian Sea, have been blanketed by a five centimetre layer of the salty substance.
But the head of the local hydrometeorology and environmental monitoring centre, Pyotr Postavik, said: "Strong winds picked up small particles of sand and dust from open-cast mines in the Caucasus mountains. They mixed with water raised from the Caspian Sea's surface.
"Makhachkala residents thought it was an ecological catastrophe caused by the war in Iraq, and were very frightened. It's a very rare phenomenon."
Story filed: 10:13 Friday 18th April 2003
Files Listed: 30
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