A thick dusting of toxic, black snow has coated several towns in Siberia, transforming them into “post-apocalyptic” landscapes, according to Russian media.
The inky snowfall is the result of open coal pits in the Kuzbass Basin, which is home to 2.6 million people and sits on one of the world’s largest coal reserves spanning 10,000 square miles.
Residents in the towns of Prokopyevsk, Kiselyovsk, and Leninsk-Kuznetsky have been posting surreal footage of grayscale snowdrifts, trees, and icicles to social media.
“No cleansing systems, all the waste, dust and dirt, coal lay in the area,” one resident remarked, according to the Siberian Times on Friday. “Our children and us are breathing it. It’s just a nightmare.”