Asian disasters – Indian flooding, Singapore smog

Have combined two headlines into one poem today, in style of tankas …..

Smothered Silence

Wraiths glide through the dawn,
masked against the breathless haze.
Ashen shapes elide,
strangers in smothered silence
sliding through each others’ lives.

Mud-race vanquishes.
Surging torrents sweep aside
homes and lives erased.
Danger in smothered silence;
pale-moon dead, survivors pray.


21st June 2013 – Headlines from The Independent and Daily Mail

Notes:  Singapore smog: Gas masks stock runs low amid record levels of pollution.”  Pollution levels soared for a third day in a row in Singapore, as smoky haze from fires in Indonesia shrouded the city state.  Indonesia is struggling to contain the raging forest fires that are causing the thick smog which is enveloping Singapore, parts of Malaysia and some Indonesian cities.  The fires are caused by illegal slash-and-burn land clearance in Sumatra, to the west of Singapore.  The Pollutant Standards Index hit 401 today – the highest in Singapore’s history.  Face masks which are in high demand in Singapore can protect against the worst of the smog but are unlikely to provide total protection.  Rescuers pull bodies from River Ganges and the mud left by landslides as death toll from monsoon flooding in northern India rises to nearly 600”.  India’s home ministry said a total of 33,100 people had been rescued so far but that at least 50,400 are still stranded. India’s NDTV television channel said a further 14,000 people remain unaccounted for and that officials and rescue workers are concerned the death toll in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand could leap.  Indian troops and rescue workers are battling to help people still trapped in the Himalayan foothills after massive monsoons triggered devastating flooding and landslides.  Many of those left struggling for their lives were tourists and Hindu pilgrims who flock to the mountains during the summer months to visit numerous shines. Among the worst hit areas were the pilgrimage towns of Kedarnath and Badrinath where homes, roads and even temples were washed away.


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