Thick black clouds from the Amazon wildfires stayed over Sao Paolo, fuelling concerns regarding the environmental disaster.
Smoke from the wildfires in Amazon region plunged Sao Paolo into darkness on Monday. Brazil’s National Institute of Meteorology, Inmet, stated that the phenomenon transpired due to humid air, heavy clouds, and several other factors. Winds brought the particulate matter from the wildfires in Paraguay and Bolivia to Sao Paolo.
“The darkening of the sky was quite intense,” Inmet meteorologist Franco Nadal Villela said. The World Meteorological Organization said on Tuesday that the smoke from Amazon wildfires has reached the Atlantic coast.
The sharp increase in forest fires in Brazil has highlighted concerns regarding President Jair Bolsonaro’s environmental policies. Bolsonaro has openly supported increased logging business and development activities in the Amazon region. Scientists from Brazil’s National Space Research Institute (INPE) have stated that the loss in the Amazon region has occurred at an “accelerated rate”. Satellite images released by NASA showed that the wildfires have affected Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia.
INPE avowed that as many as 9,507 new forest fires have been detected through satellite images in Brazil since Thursday. Majority of those fires occurred in the Amazon basin, INPE added. Earlier this week, the INPE divulged that forest fires in Brazil have increased by 80 per cent in 2019. Data shared by the institute indicated a surge in deforestation in the Amazon region.
President Bolsonaro rebuffed criticisms and asserted that increased deforestation is due to “queimada”, the time of the year when farmers use fire to clear land. He fired the institute’s director shortly and said that the “data doesn’t relate to the reality”. Bolsonaro further blamed the forest fires on environmental NGOs. Meanwhile, Norway and Germany have halted donations to Brazil’s Amazon fund.