Velachery bears the brunt of Perungudi landfill fire – The New Indian Express

By Express press service

CHENNAI: A fire broke out at the Perungudi landfill on Wednesday evening. Apartments within a radius of 3-4 km were shrouded in thick smoke and birds in the Pallikaranai swamp were affected. Authorities said the situation was under control and hoped to extinguish the fire by Thursday.

Company officials said the cause of the fire has not yet been determined as they are focused on extinguishing the fire. “This may be due to the emission of methane from landfills, which is flammable. We haven’t gone into detail as we are working to release it first,” a company official said.

With the help of Metro Water, eight fire tenders were used Wednesday night and three more were called. Although the Kodungaiyur and Perungudi landfills are not free from minor fires during the summer, this one is larger and will have a greater impact.

Yuvan M, who resides in Baby Nagar, Velachery, about 2-3 km from the landfill, said residents were affected by heavy smoke and were forced to close doors and windows. “To the west we see more apartment complexes engulfed in smoke and we can see the orange glow of the fire. Marsh birds (Pallikaranai) like night herons seem to be disturbed and can be heard calling,” he said.

Methane gas, along with carbon dioxide, is produced by anaerobic bacteria in landfills and is generated during the decomposition of organic waste. About 50% of the gases emitted from landfills are methane, which is highly flammable. Recently, a landfill in Delhi caught fire, leaving smoke hanging over the city for days.
Thoraipakkam Fire Officer M Ponnusamy said the fire started in an area of ​​800m but there was a high risk of it spreading to nearby areas due to sparks flying from the flames.

“We are spraying water in the nearby area so that the humidity prevents the flames from spreading to nearby areas. The fire will be extinguished by Thursday afternoon,” Ponnusamy said.

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