22 October 2016
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 07/22/2009, 00.00


    Asia, rain and pollution obscure the eclipse of the century

    In India a woman died crushed by the crowd, millions of people barricaded themselves in their homes for fear of the pernicious influences of the sun's invisible rays. In Beijing the sky covered by a thick blanket of smog, in Shanghai the rain ruined the spectacle for millions of tourists.

    Shanghai (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Rain, pollution and the death of a woman in India have ruined the party tens for millions of Asians, who today experienced the longest eclipse of the sun this century. The astronomical phenomenon begun at 6:24 am in India (1: 54am in Italy) and then moved eastward reaching Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, ending in the Pacific Islands. At the moment of maximum intensity, the darkening of the sun lasted 6 minutes and 39 seconds, but in most of Asia the spectacle was ruined by bad weather. 

    In Varanasi, India, on the banks of the Ganges - the river sacred to Hindus - thousands of people were bathing in the waters of the river to purify themselves, according to an ancient tradition. The event was marked by a tragedy: for yet unspecified reasons, the crowd began to flee - perhaps in prey of panic - and a 65 year old woman died in the stampede. Six other people were injured in the crush. Also in India, millions of people preferred to stay home, terrorized by fear. The country is steeped in the traditions and superstitions that are based on Hindu culture, one of these requires that pregnant women are locked in the house during the eclipse to avoid "negative influences" of the "invisible sunlight" on the unborn child.

    In China, the disappointment for millions of fans and curious people was even greater. The pollution in Beijing and bad weather in Shanghai ruined the party. In the capital, a gray blanket caused by pollution veiled the sky, obscuring the natural phenomenon to a large extent.

    In the coastal city of Shanghai, where millions of Chinese and foreign tourists had gathered, a light drizzle persisted for the duration solar eclipse. The city in recent days had invested money and publicity to promote the event.

     In Wuhan, an industrial city in central China, just before the eclipse clouds covered the sky. "It was a shame" says Zhen Jun, a local worker who - together with colleagues - had obtained permission for a day off to enjoy the show.

    In Bangkok, Thailand, dozens of Buddhist monks held a mass prayer meeting in a local temple to drive out the "harmful effects". "The solar eclipse is fraught with bad omens - says Pinya Pongjaroen, a famous Thai astrologer – we pray for the good of the country."

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    21/07/2009 ASIA
    Informed by science and magic, Asians wait for the longest solar eclipse of the century
    The “event of the century” is scheduled for tomorrow when a solar eclipse is set to last 6 minutes and 27 seconds. Astrologers and magicians predict clashes and social unrest. In China the authorities have launched a campaign to educate people. But the event will breathe new life in a tourist sector badly hurt by the global recession and the swine flu.

    08/03/2016 15:48:00 INDONESIA
    Indonesia marks total solar eclipse as public holiday

    Rare astral phenomenon puts the archipelago nation on edge. Hotels booked for weeks. Some 10,000 foreign visitors, including a Thai princess, and 100,000 Indonesian tourists have travelled to see the event.

    06/06/2012 ASIA
    Rare sighting as Venus transits the sun
    In Israel, India, Hong Kong, China, Japan, the phenomenon that happens once in 100 years. An opportunity for scientists to study and calculate the distances of the planets and for more information on the atmosphere of Venus.

    22/01/2015 CHINA
    Shanxi: fight against "superstition" leads to hunting witches and feng shui masters
    Shanxi's provincial authorities have launched a two-month-long campaign against superstitious activities, which includes the organisation of pro-science events. However, the practice of feng shui and witches and shamans are part of China's ancient tradition, and have become an important tourist attraction. Thus, some fear a negative grassroots backlash.

    19/08/2016 11:13:00 INDIA
    Doubts surround death of a Protestant pastor healer, accused of black magic

    His center organized prayers and healings. Last February the manager was arrested , but the pastor had fled

    Editor's choices

    On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"

    John Mok Chit Wai

    A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.

    The "enemies" of Pope Francis

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®