Clouds of thick black dust blanketed Siberia’s coal mining region of Kemerovo, local news outlet Sibdepo reported Thursday.
Residents of the mining towns of Kiselevsk and Belovo shared footage showing massive clouds of coal dust covering the streets amid strong winds and thunderstorms.
Locals said the coal dust was brought from the coal mines surrounding the city by hurricane-like winds.
“The coal dust is coming from the direction of the mines. It’s difficult to breathe,” a local resident reported via the Kuzbass Incident VKontakte page.
“It is simply horrifying,” Komsomolskaya Pravda quoted a local resident as saying.
“[I] cannot open the windows, the entire house and the yard are covered with a layer of [coal] dust.”
Russia’s Kemerovo region, also known as the Kuzbass region, consistently ranks among some of the most polluted areas of the country. The latest reports of coal pollution come amid the wave of destructive wildfires that have swept Siberia in recent weeks.