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News Commentary

'Cosmic rays' text message an old 'hoax'

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - A circulating message saying fatal cosmic rays are bound to affect the Earth had fooled people in Ghana in 2010 but reappeared recently in the Philippines.

While the version that alarmed many in the African country claimed that cosmic rays would cause a deadly earthquake, a resurrected version of the hoax in the Philippines claims cosmic rays and radiation emitted from outer space would pass through mobile phones and pose fatal risks for the user.

The message in Filipino even attempts to gain credibility by citing ABS-CBN weatherman "Kuya" Kim Atienza and international news networks BBC and CNN.

Good evening! I-off mamaya ang mga cellphone natin 10:30 p.m. till 3:30 a.m. dahil sa malakas na radiation at cosmic rays, nuclear atomic. Binalita ni Kuya Kim at sa CNN and BBC sa Skycable. Delikado, namamatay daw. 'Wag itabi ang cellphone sa pagtulog mamaya. Kindly share na lang din sa ibang friends natin. Forwarded.

Atienza, however, denied reporting the statement, while no existing CNN or BBC report confirmed it.

State science agencies, moreover, have not issued a warning to the public on the alleged cosmic rays event.

Government officials in Ghana addressed public fear on the false advisory saying the so-called cosmic rays  phenomenon has "no iota of evidence."

NASA, meanwhile, explained on its website that cosmic rays are "particles that bombard the Earth from anywhere beyond its atmosphere." The Earth's atmosphere also protects its surface from cosmic rays.

The US agency said the particles do not come from planets within the solar system.

Criminals can also take strike once people turn their cellular phones off by deceiving relatives to send money in exchange for their loved ones' safety, a local website suggested.

ATIENZA

BBC

BINALITA

COSMIC

DELIKADO

KIM ATIENZA

KUYA

KUYA KIM

RAYS

SKYCABLE

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