Faster Than a Tsunami: The Speed of Rumor

I was living in St Petersburg, Florida, when Chernobyl exploded. That afternoon, rainbow arcs appeared around the sun. These parhelions, aka sundogs, are caused by the diffraction of sunlight by ice crystals in the upper atmosphere.

There were frantic calls to the paper asking whether the radiation from Chernobyl was affecting the sun.

That was before the Age Of Txt.

A fake text message warning people that radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant has leaked beyond Japan has been panicking people across Asia.

The SMS message, purporting to come from the BBC, has been circulating around Asian countries since Monday.

It warns people to take necessary precautions against possible effects of radiation.

The BBC has issued no such flash but the hoax has caused particular panic in the Philippines.

BBC News – ‘Radiation’ text message is fake


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