QuickCheck: Has the Mt Ruang volcanic eruption caused toxic rain to fall in Sabah?

THE recent Mount Ruang eruption dashed the hopes of many travellers in Sabah and Sarawak after volcanic ash in the atmosphere grounded flights in East Malaysia.

Aside from causing travel woes, some have said that the ash and gasses from the eruption has also "polluted" the clouds over Sabah, causing toxic acid rain to fall.

Is this true?



The Sabah Meteorological Department denied claims that recent rain was "toxic" due to volcanic gases in the clouds following the eruption in Sulawesi recently.

Its director Amarzudi Hashim said the water in the clouds dilutes any possible chemicals released during the eruptions.

"This makes the rainfall harmless," he said.

Sabah has been experiencing some rainfall lately and some were worried that it could have been polluted by chemicals from the eruption.

Climatologist Datuk Ramzah Dambul echoed Amarzudi's words, adding that the air quality in Sabah and Sarawak has not been affected by pollutants.

He said the air quality index continues to show moderate to good readings at 68 monitoring stations in East and West Malaysia.

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