Lessened pollution helps direct visibility between Finland, Estonia

HELSINKI, May 1, 2018 (Xinhua) -- The statue of Havis Amanda is seen near the southern waterfront of Helsinki, Finland, April 30, 2018. Havis Amanda, a landmark bronze statue standing in southern waterfront of Helsinki, is grandly crowned with a white student cap on the eve of May Day every year. (Xinhua/Li Jizhi/IANS)
The statue of Havis Amanda is seen near the southern waterfront of Helsinki, Finland (file photo). Image courtesy: IANS

Helsinki: People on the coast of the Finnish capital of Helsinki can now see the land of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, across the Gulf of Finland, due to less pollution amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Direct visibility between the two cities, some 80 km away across the Gulf of Finland, has not been possible for decades, reports Xinhua news agency.

Researchers in Finland said that the phenomenon is likely due to less transport exhaust gases in the air as a result of reduced passenger transport on the Gulf during the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the Finnish emergency legislation which was activated to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the country has prohibited passenger transport between Finland, Estonia and Sweden.

This has reduced departures of large ferries from Helsinki by half.

Ninety-seven scheduled weekly departures were down to 51, as some of the ferries continue carrying freight, local media reported.

Jukka-Pekka Jalkanen, a researcher on air quality at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, told the media that the decline in the amount of oxides of nitrogen is probably the main reason for the clarity.