How We Learned To Be Lonely

Illustration of a person lying on their back while trapped inside a transparent cubeJan Buchczik

In the early days of the pandemic, many of us got used to solitude. It’s a habit we need to break.How to Build a Lifeis a column by Arthur Brooks, tackling questions of meaning and happiness. Click here to listen to his podcast series on all things happiness, How to Build a Happy Life.

Communities can be amazingly resilient after traumas. Londoners banded together during the German Blitz bombings of World War II, and rebuilt the city afterward. When I visited the Thai island of Phuket six months after the 2004 tsunami killed thousands in the region and displaced even more, I found a miraculous recovery in progress, and in many places, little remaining evidence of the tragedy. It was inspirational.

Going from surviving to thriving is crucial for healing and growth after a disaster, and scholars have shown that it can be a common experience. Often, the worst conditions bring out the best in people as they work together for their own recovery and that of their neighbors.

COVID-19 appears to be resistant to this phenomenon, unfortunately. The most salient social feature of the pandemic was how it forced people into isolation; for those fortunate enough not to lose a loved one, the major trauma it created was loneliness. Instead of coming together, emerging evidence suggests that we are in the midst of a long-term crisis of habitual loneliness, in which relationships were severed and never reestablished.

Many people—perhaps including you—are still wandering alone, without the company of friends and loved ones to help rebuild their life. If your life has not yet gone back to its 2019-era “normal,” you are not alone. In a poll conducted in March 2022 by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 59 percent of respondents said they had not fully returned to their pre-pandemic activities.

One of the routines that remains disrupted is work, which for millions of Americans went from a social experience to one of isolation: sitting behind a computer screen, miles away from others. And it probably won’t return to “normal,” especially for office jobs. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of people working from home more than tripled from 2019 to 2021.

Universal remote work is no longer necessary from a public-health standpoint, yet in 2022, 59 percent of those who say their jobs can mainly be done from home are still working at home all or most of the time. Most are doing this by choice, despite the fact that 60 percent say they feel less connected to their co-workers than they had before the pandemic.

More serious for happiness is that many people now prioritize socializing for fun less than they used to in the “before times.” Friends whom I’ve recently seen for the first time since 2020 tell me they still almost never go to parties or to others’ homes, even though they used to go out frequently before the pandemic. In a poll that the Pew Research Center conducted in May 2022, 21 percent of respondents said that socializing had become more important to them since the coronavirus outbreak, but 35 percent said it had become less important.

Some people are probably seeing their loved ones less because of continued fear of disease. But when I’ve pressed friends for an explanation, the typical response has been, “I just got out of the habit.” This anecdotal evidence is backed up by data: Most respondents in a spring 2022 survey of American adults said they found it harder to form relationships now, and a quarter felt anxious about socializing. Only 9 percent were worried about being physically near others; the biggest source of anxiety (shared by 29 percent) was “not knowing what to say or how to interact.” Many of us have simply forgotten how to be friends.

This growing habitual loneliness is a public-health crisis. Research has consistently shown that isolation is linked to depression and anxiety. It has also been shown to lead to premature mortality, worsen cardiovascular health, increase inflammation, and disrupt hormones and sleep.

This harm is not equally distributed. Researchers at the Institute for Family Studies have found that in America, rates of unhappiness rose from before the pandemic (2012–18) to after the worst phase (2021). However, of those studied, two groups saw their rate of unhappiness rise more significantly than the others: single people and those who did not regularly attend a religious service. People in these groups likely have less automatically programmed social interaction than others.

Children, too, may be especially vulnerable. Kids born during the pandemic missed a crucial window of socialization, and a study of babies in Dublin published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood found that they are, on average, exhibiting deficits in communication. Compared with those born from 2008 to 2011, they are less likely to say one definite or meaningful word, to point, or to wave bye-bye by 12 months of age.

Most of these babies enjoyed less interaction with a variety of people than they would have in the absence of a pandemic. We have no idea what the long-term implications will be. If habitual loneliness is causing so much misery, why aren’t the habitually lonely taking greater steps to fight it? Why aren’t they insisting on working in person and reconnecting with friends? One possible answer is that, as research has shown, loneliness likely inhibits our executive function, which we need in order to deal with our distress appropriately.

Think of a time when you felt very lonely, and instead of doing what you really needed to do—call people, get outside, and be social—you cocooned on the sofa by yourself. Loneliness, like homelessness or poverty, tends to be self-perpetuating: Much as it is harder to get on your feet once you no longer have a place to sleep and shower, an address, or a phone, social isolation leads to behavior that leads to even more isolation.

If you’ve been seeking remote work instead of in-person work for convenience, choosing solitary activities over group ones because of awkwardness, or electing not to reestablish old friendships because of sheer torpor, you may be stuck in a pattern of learned loneliness. To break out of the cycle, you might need to try an “opposite signal” strategy. Your inertia probably tells you that getting dressed and going to work will be a hassle, and that inviting someone over for dinner will be uncomfortable. You should do these things anyway.

Think of it like starting a workout routine after a long sedentary period (another common COVID problem). At first, your system complains bitterly, but if you push through the complaints, you soon find that you can exercise (or socialize) easily, because it has become routine and because you can feel how it improves your life.

There is no law of nature saying that if you wait long enough, you will be happy again. You must proactively manage your own environment. Insist on working in person with others; become a hub for physical gatherings of friends. If your circumstances make COVID a continuing threat—say, if you are immunocompromised—taking the initiative in forming plans that fit your needs is particularly important. I have friends who are very social in their home, for example, but who test all their guests because of their particular health status.

In doing so, they are accepting what is really just a minor inconvenience in order to maintain their “friendship chops.” COVID-19 may well have cut a groove of loneliness into your life. Going with what is easy and convenient in work and friendship cuts that groove deeper, making your isolation harder to escape. But if you can remember the warmth and happiness of your old social self and make a few changes, 2023 can be a year of renewal.

By Arthur C. Brooks

Source: How We Learned to Be Lonely – The Atlantic

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The World Meteorological Organization Has No Immediate Plans To Name Heatwaves

As extreme heat stifles communities around the world this week, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said that it has “no immediate plans” to give heatwaves names. The July 19th announcement seems to pump the brakes on growing calls to come up with a strategy for ranking and naming heatwaves around the world.

In the US, heat kills more people than any other weather-related disaster. Globally, it kills 5 million people a year. But heat spells haven’t always spurred the same careful preparations people might take to, say, shelter from a major storm. The goal of naming heatwaves would be to make it easier to communicate the risks they pose to the public so that people can take measures to stay safe. In the US, heat kills more people than any other weather-related disaster

For decades, names have played a big role in early warnings for dangerous storms. Warning people about hurricane “Sandy” or “Harvey” just became a lot easier than identifying a storm by latitude and longitude. The US’s National Hurricane Center started giving Atlantic storms monikers from an official list in 1953. Currently, the WMO maintains rotating lists of names for the Atlantic and other regions.

Some advocates want to apply a similar naming mechanism to heatwaves. Seville, Spain, is set to become the first city in the world to test out the idea later this year. Officials in Athens, Greece, and California have contemplated doing the same. But the WMO apparently has some reservations, saying that it’s “currently considering the advantages and disadvantages of naming heatwaves.”“What has been established for tropical cyclone events may not necessarily translate easily across to heatwaves,” the WMO said in its news release this week. “Caution should be exercised when comparing or applying lessons or protocols from one hazard type to another, due to the important differences in the physical nature and impacts of storms and heatwaves.”“False alarms” are one concern for the WMO. Heatwaves can be forecast up to 10 days out in many parts of the world. But if the forecast for an extreme heatwave is inaccurate — maybe it’s not as hot as expected or it hits a different region than anticipated — then people might lose faith in the warnings and stop heeding them.

“False alarms”

The other caveat with heat, the WMO says, is that heat-related deaths can happen even when it’s not extraordinarily hot outside. If someone is continuously exposed to more sweltering conditions, say, in the workplace or in a home without air conditioning, they can become ill even if there isn’t an officially declared heatwave.

To prevent confusion ahead of a potential disaster, the WMO also says that any “pilot heatwave naming” should at least be tied into a country’s official warning system in the absence of a broader international framework.

Seville is piloting a project this year that will test a new alert system to warn residents ahead of a heatwave. Extreme heat events will be categorized based on their severity, and those forecast to have the greatest impact on the city will get a name. The first five have already been chosen: Zoe, Yago, Xenia, Wenceslao, and Vega.

“We are the first city in the world to take a step that will help us plan and take measures when this type of meteorological event happens—particularly because heat waves always hit the most vulnerable,” Antonio Muñoz, the mayor of Seville, said in a June 21st press release.

Parts of Europe literally buckled and burned under a brutal heatwave this week — even in places with typically milder summers. In the UK, record-breaking temperatures buckled train tracks and even an airport runway. London’s fire service responded to more blazes in a day than it had since World War II, according to Sadiq Khan, the city’s mayor. And 100 million people in the US are under heat alerts today.

Heatwaves are becoming more frequent and more intense as greenhouse gas emissions heat our planet. More than a third of heat deaths can be attributed to climate change, according to research published last year.

Source: The World Meteorological Organization has ‘no immediate plans’ to name heatwaves – The Verge

Critics by EPA

A persistent period of unusually hot days is referred to as an extreme heat event or a heat wave. Heat waves are more than just uncomfortable: they can lead to illness and death, particularly among older adults, the very young, and other vulnerable populations (see the Heat-Related Deaths and Heat-Related Illnesses indicators).

Prolonged exposure to excessive heat can lead to other impacts as well—for example, damaging crops, injuring or killing livestock, and increasing the risk of wildfires. Prolonged periods of extreme heat can lead to power outages as heavy demands for air conditioning strain the power grid.

Unusually hot days and heat wave events are a natural part of day-to-day variation in weather. As the Earth’s climate warms, however, hotter-than-usual days and nights are becoming more common (see the High and Low Temperatures indicator) and heat waves are expected to become more frequent and intense.2 Increases in these extreme heat events can lead to more heat-related illnesses and deaths, especially if people and communities do not take steps to adapt.3 Even small increases in extreme heat can result in increased deaths and illnesses.4

About the Indicator

This indicator examines trends over time in four key characteristics of heat waves in the United States:

  • Frequency: the number of heat waves that occur every year.
  • Duration: the length of each individual heat wave, in days.
  • Season length: the number of days between the first heat wave of the year and the last.
  • Intensity: how hot it is during the heat wave.

Heat waves can be defined in many different ways. For consistency across the country, Figures 1 and 2 define a heat wave as a period of two or more consecutive days when the daily minimum apparent temperature (the actual temperature adjusted for humidity) in a particular city exceeds the 85th percentile of historical July and August temperatures (1981–2010) for that city. EPA chose this definition for several reasons:

  • The most serious health impacts of a heat wave are often associated with high temperatures at night, which is usually the daily minimum.5 The human body needs to cool off at night, especially after a hot day. If the air stays too warm at night, the body faces extra strain as the heart pumps harder to try to regulate body temperature.
  • Adjusting for humidity is important because when humidity is high, water does not evaporate as easily, so it is harder for the human body to cool off by sweating. That is why health warnings about extreme heat are often based on the “heat index,” which combines temperature and humidity.
  • The 85th percentile of July and August temperatures equates to the nine hottest days during the hottest two months of the year. A temperature that is typically only recorded nine times during the hottest part of the year is rare enough that most people would consider it to be unusually hot.
  • By using the 85th percentile for each individual city, Figures 1 and 2 define “unusual” in terms of local conditions. After all, a specific temperature like 95°F might be unusually hot in one city but perfectly normal in another. Plus, people in relatively warm regions (such as the Southwest) may be better acclimated and adapted to hot weather.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) calculated apparent temperature for this indicator based on temperature and humidity measurements from long-term weather stations, which are generally located at airports. Figures 1 and 2 focus on the 50 most populous U.S. metropolitan areas that have recorded weather data from a consistent location without many missing days over the time period examined.

The year 1961 was chosen as the starting point because most major cities have collected consistent data since at least that time. Figure 3 provides another perspective to gauge the size and frequency of prolonged heat wave events. It shows the U.S. Annual Heat Wave Index, which tracks the occurrence of heat wave conditions across the contiguous 48 states from 1895 to 2021. This index defines a heat wave as a period lasting at least four days with an average temperature that would only be expected to persist over four days once every 10 years, based on the historical record. The index value for a given year depends on how often such severe heat waves occur and how widespread they are….

Related contents:

National Night Out 2022 is a success despite extreme heat WIBW

02:30
22:54 Sat, 06 Aug

Reporter – Climate change: Europe’s first heat officer Deutsche Welle

16:55 Sat, 06 Aug
05:36 Sat, 06 Aug
20:07 Fri, 05 Aug
08:38 Sat, 06 AugChina Taiwan Climate Crisis

13:50 Thu, 04 AugEPA Supreme Court Climate Crisis

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Cost-of-Living Crisis: A Disaster Years In The Making

The news has been dominated by the war in Ukraine and the cost-of-living crisis. Sometimes it might seem as though the latter is entirely the result of the former, but in truth the cost-of-living crisis was already a fact of life long before Russia invaded.

The huge increase in financial and housing wealth has masked the way that the real “economic cake” has been stagnant for some time and is now getting smaller. The very wealthy have been gaining a larger share, so the “slice of cake” left for the rest of us is shrinking.

This shrinking can happen in two ways: there can be job losses and wage cuts and declining incomes (deflation), or prices can rise so much that things become unaffordable. It is through the second way – rising prices – that this is happening now. Either way, most people end up with less: less heating, fewer car trips, less to eat or fewer meals out.

Why should the economic “cake” be shrinking? The easy answer is to claim that it is because of coronavirus, the war in Ukraine, Brexit, climate change and the shift to green energy or other global issues that are largely outside the control of national politicians.

Politicians and policymakers would no doubt like us to believe this, but the truth is that the origins of our problems go back to before the global financial crisis of 2007-2009, and are very much the result of poor economic and financial policies.

Blame it on the Federal Reserve

If one country deserves much of the blame, it is the United States, and particularly the Federal Reserve. The Fed, in effect, took advantage of the hegemony of the dollar to implement policies that supported US financial markets and thereby promoted excessive leverage and the over-financialisation of the economy.

Successive governments favoured Wall Street and big corporations. These policies had beneficial short-term effects – particularly for the wealthy – but at the longer-term cost of declining economic growth.

Price discovery in financial markets has become so distorted as to inhibit economic growth, rather than acting as a lubricant for it. Capital has flowed to loss-making ventures, many of which will probably never be profitable, while over-indebted failing “zombie companies” have been kept alive by ultra-low interest rates. Financial speculation has become more profitable for many – both individuals and companies – than doing productive work.

What is not well understood – and is critical for investors at this point – are the implications for inflation or deflation. One of my own indicators – which has a reliable long-run record but is admittedly poor on short-term timing – points to a very high risk of a “deflation shock”.

That might seem ridiculous at a time when prices of nearly everything are jumping. But the key to what is really happening is worsening monetary and financial instability. For some years, central banks have used their own balance sheets to protect financial asset prices and suppress financial volatility.

But stability breeds instability, as the economist Hyman Minsky explained. This is doubly so when that very stability has been artificially engineered by what amounts to central bank manipulation of financial markets.

Today the clearest sign of this underlying instability is the combination of the extremely elevated valuations of US equities with sharply rising market interest rates and imminent contraction of the Fed balance sheet. The deflation shock indicator is heading to a record level – meaning that the likelihood of a deflation shock is very high and increasing – primarily because the total value of US financial assets is so high relative to GDP.

One gauge of this is that the ratio of total wealth to GDP for US residents is about 70% higher than its long-run average. This is an indication that systemic leverage is at an extreme.

The deflation shock indicator is also responding to the fact that money-supply growth is beginning to slow dramatically at a time when cash in the US economy still remains at a lower proportion of total financial assets than it has done historically, despite very rapid growth in the money supply over the previous two years.

System on a knife-edge

The system is on a knife-edge between extreme inflation and deflation. There is nothing in between. Either excess financial-asset valuations, leverage and debt have to be inflated away – a process that would involve the prices of wages, goods and everything else catching up with the levels of financial assets, leverage and debt – or financial asset values have to deflate.

The latter would create a huge unwinding of leverage and a “dash for cash”, which cannot be accommodated by a tightening Fed and low money-supply growth. Fundamentally, there is no way to continue hiding the shrinking of the cake. Unfortunately – and this is an impossibly difficult thing to accept – most people are going to become poorer in real terms.

This will either happen through an inflationary process or a deflationary process – or more likely a combination of both. Right now we are experiencing the inflationary part but deflation is likely to come next. Depending on how central banks respond, that may then be followed by even greater inflation.

For investors, being aware of the risks of both inflation and deflation and focusing on where there is genuine value would seem to be the only way forward. In the coming years we almost certainly face the most difficult investing environment of our lives.

By: Tim Lee

Tim Lee is a co-author of The Rise of Carry: The Dangerous Consequences of Volatility Suppression and the New Financial Order of Decaying Growth and Recurring Crisis (McGraw-Hill, 2020).

Source: Cost-of-living crisis: a disaster years in the making | MoneyWeek

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Ukraine’s Richest Man Says He’s Doing Everything He Can To Help His Country, And Sparing No Expense

On February 22, as hundreds took to the streets of Mariupol, Ukraine to protest Russia’s approach, the country’s richest person Rinat Akhmetov reaffirmed his loyalty to his nation and its government. Speaking from the port city of nearly half a million people where his mining conglomerate Metainvest is headquartered, he announced that he would continue to make investments in his businesses and country “no matter what dreadful scenarios we face.”

The son of a coal miner who grew up in Donetsk but has not been back since Russia’s invasion in 2014, Akhmetov knew how bad things could get. He had been hit hard by that earlier attack. Several of his assets—including real estate, dozens of gas stations and the home stadium of Shakhtar Donetsk, one of Ukraine’s most successful soccer teams—became virtually worthless overnight after the territories were seized.

This time he was preparing for the worst. “I have already instructed my foundation to help with evacuation, medicines and everything necessary, if needed. We will do everything to prevent a humanitarian disaster,” he said two days before Russia’s invasion.

Since then, his fears have come true as Russia’s ruthless attacks have reportedly left 1,200 dead in just Mariupol. On Wednesday, a maternity hospital there was destroyed by a Russian air strike. “I can’t wrap my head around the fact that Mariupol is in a complete blockade in 2022, that people are forced to hide in the workshops of our production plants,” Akhmetov said in written responses to Forbes Ukraine. “It is impossible to hear or talk about it without tears in your eyes that people melt snow and drink meltwater to stay alive. That a 6-year-old girl died of dehydration under rubble at the center of Europe.”

The billionaire, whose fortune has dropped from nearly $14 billion to less than $6 billion in just two weeks and may likely be much less, responded on Wednesday to questions from Forbes from an undisclosed location in Western Ukraine. His complete answers, provided to Forbes Ukraine, are below.


1. What must the West/the world do to stop Putin?

Akhmetov: “We see the united action of the western world on an unprecedented scale. I am deeply grateful to our international partners for that.

What else can and must they do? I believe everything that Ukraine, the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian President are asking for.”


2. What would be a ‘victory’ for Ukraine, in your opinion?

Akhmetov: “A total ceasefire, complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, and full restoration of the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine.That includes the Crimea and Donbas.”


3. Why the Russian forces target civilians, shell entire residential areas, and destroy cities? What are they aiming for?

Akhmetov: “What is unfolding here is a war crime and a crime against humanity, against Ukraine and the Ukrainians.This can neither be explained nor justified.”


4. Does this war go beyond Ukraine, is Putin aiming at Europe and the US?

Akhmetov: “Putin is aiming at countries that have democracy, freedom, and independence. So all the free world counties are potential targets. If Ukraine together with you fails to stop him, nobody knows who’s next.”


5. How is your company operating during this time?

Akhmetov: “In wartime, our company operates accordingly. Now our utmost goal is to help Ukrainians survive and withstand.”

Akhmetov: “What is unfolding here is a war crime and a crime against humanity, against Ukraine and the Ukrainians.This can neither be explained nor justified.”


6. What are your workers doing? Are they still being paid?

Akhmetov: “Yes, they receive salaries. Today, all our businesses focus all their efforts on helping people. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that Mariupol is in a complete blockade in 2022, that people are forced to hide in the workshops of our production plants. It is impossible to hear or talk about it without tears in your eyes that people melt snow and drink meltwater to stay alive. That a 6-year-old girl died of dehydration under rubble at the center of Europe.”


7. How are you using your international network?

Akhmetov: “SCM is an international company. Each of our employees is now using all their connections and opportunities to get the true information across to our international partners that peaceful Ukrainians are dying and suffering, that the tragedy is happening in our country.”


8. How do you help Ukraine and Ukrainians?

Akhmetov: “My Foundation is helping Ukrainians survive by providing water, food, medicines, and any help we can give here and now. SCM businesses are helping the army and territorial defense forces to defend our sovereignty, our freedom and independence, and win the war.”


9. How are you working with other business leaders?

Akhmetov: “I am working with my company and my people. I am doing everything I can. I am confident that other people are doing the same.”


10. Are you in touch with any Russian business leaders? Have any voiced any concerns about Putin’s behavior? Have any talked about trying to oust him?

Akhmetov: “No, I do not have any contacts with any Russian business representatives and I am not running any talks with any of them.”


11. How are you helping Zelensky?

Akhmetov: “First of all, we are helping Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. I have already said this: we are helping and we will keep helping people. And we will be helping our army and the territorial defense to stop the military aggression against our country.”


12. How are you spending your days now?

Akhmetov: “I am in Ukraine and I am not going to leave the country. I share the same feelings with all Ukrainians: I am sincerely waiting for the victory of Ukraine in this war. And we will start to rebuild the country to make it happier and more prosperous. On my end, I will spare no expense or effort to achieve this goal.”

Source: Ukraine’s Richest Man Says He’s Doing Everything He Can To Help His Country, And Sparing No Expense

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More News:

Russian Seizure of Ukraine Nuclear Plant Sparks Worries About Radiation

Russia’s seizure of a Ukrainian nuclear power plant has raised fears about access to data, atomic experts said, although they stressed they did not see immediate radiological risks and a U.N. watchdog said its reactors were undamaged.

Russian forces captured the Zaporizhzhia plant – Europe’s largest – after attacking it in the early hours of Friday, setting an adjacent five-storey training facility on fire

Russian forces captured the Zaporizhzhia plant – Europe’s largest – after attacking it in the early hours of Friday, setting an adjacent five-storey training facility on fire, Ukrainian authorities said. Russia has blamed the attack on the plant on Ukrainian saboteurs.

In a press conference on Friday, Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi said no damage had been done to the Zaporozhzhia reactors and Ukrainian staff continued to operate the nuclear facilities while Russian forces controlled the area.

The monitoring system at the site was functioning normally and there had been no release of radioactive material, Grossi said.

Park Jong-woon, a professor at the energy and electric engineering department of Dongguk University, said he did not think there was an immediate radiological threat posed by the plant’s seizure, but added Russia could disrupt public access to data to sow confusion.

“They can make people wonder, freak them out and spread fear,” said Park, who worked at state-run power operators between 1996 and 2009, helping build nuclear reactors.

The fire at the Zaporizhzhia facility has since been extinguished but it had raised “a very real concern” about the potential for disaster, Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear power safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington D.C., said.

“For example, the prospect of a widespread fire, although that appears not to be the case, could disable the plant’s electrical systems and lead to an event very much like Fukushima if cooling is not restored in time,” he said.

More broadly, experts expressed worries about access to real time data necessary for gauging the radiation situation on the ground.

The official website for radiation readings at the Zaporizhzhia site was not immediately accessible as of Friday afternoon, Lyman said.

Since last week’s takeover by Russian forces of Chernobyl – the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster and now a defunct power plant – monitoring of radiation levels there has been more difficult, according to Kenji Nanba, who heads Fukushima University’s Institute of Environmental Radioactivity and has been involved in a joint research project with Ukrainian scientists.

He said an official Ukrainian website with hourly radiation measurements from Chernobyl’s exclusion zone had been down for days and that another site had gradually lost most of its real-time readings.

Although the damaged Chernobyl reactor is stable and is covered under a large new containment structure, Nanba said it was still crucial for researchers like himself to track radiation data at the site to make sure there were no sudden changes.

Elevated radiation readings were recorded near Chernobyl after it was taken over by Russian forces last week, but experts say those were most likely caused by military activity that kicked up irradiated dirt and earth into the air.

The fourth reactor at Chernobyl exploded in April 1986 during a botched safety test, sending clouds of radiation billowing across much of Estimates for the numbers of direct and indirect deaths from the disaster vary from the low thousands to as many as 93,000 extra cancer deaths worldwide.

Source: Russian seizure of Ukraine nuclear plant sparks worries about radiation | Business Standard News

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