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Russia Prepares For Toxic Slick


http://gdb.rferl.org/1EE7ED25-FE53-465D-BD52-77DED6103574_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/1EE7ED25-FE53-465D-BD52-77DED6103574_mw800_mh600.jpg China's polluted Songhua River (AFP) 29 November 2005 -- A slick of toxic benzene and other chemicals is moving from China's Songhua River toward the Amur River in Russia's Far East.


Russian authorities say they fear the chemicals may have already begun to flow into Russian territory. Officials estimate that the 80-kilometer-long toxic slick could reach the city of Khabarovsk, which relies on the Amur for its water supply, as soon as 10 December.


Officials say supplies of clean water and filtering charcoal are being stockpiled in Khabarovsk. Russian authorities have warned that more than 1 million people living along the Amur could be affected by the contaminants.


The spill is the result of an explosion on 13 November at a Chinese chemical plant near the northeastern city of Harbin. Officials in Harbin today declared the water supply safe for human consumption.


However, reports say water supplies to other Chinese communities along the Songhua have been cut.


China has reportedly offered to provide Russia with equipment capable of testing the waters of the Amur.


RIA-Novosti news agency says an agreement on the equipment was reached Monday at a meeting between Chinese and Russian government officials in Harbin.


(agencies)

Chinese Chemical Spill



A slick of toxic benzene and other chemicals is moving from China's Songhua River toward the Amur River in Russia's Far East. Russian authorities fear the consequences when the 80-kilometer-long toxic slick reaches the city of Khabarovsk, which relies on the Amur for its water supply.

Officials say supplies of clean water and filtering charcoal are being stockpiled in Khabarovsk. Russian authorities have warned that more than 1 million people living along the Amur could be affected by the contaminants. The spill is the result of an explosion on November 13, 2005, at a Chinese chemical plant in the city of Jilin....(more)

See also:

After Chinese Toxic Spill, Russian Environmentalists Raise Concerns About Ecological Policy

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