The polluted Songhua River, which flows into Russia's Amur (file photo) (epa)
16 December 2005 -- A 180-kilometer-long slick of chemicals from a plant explosion in northeast China flowed today into Russia's Amur River.
The toxic spill is expected to reach Khabarovsk, a Far East Russian city of some 600,000 residents, in less than a week.
Russian Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu, in Khabarovsk to monitor the situation, said local authorities are prepared to deal with the aftereffects of the pollution.
"I wouldn't want the word 'emergency' or 'emergency situation' applied in this case at all," Shoigu said.
The explosion in the Chinese city of Jilin on 13 November poured 100 tons of cancer-causing benzene and other chemicals into a tributary of the Amur.
Russian emergency officials said some 70 villages and towns along the Amur could be affected by the 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)
After Chinese Toxic Spill, Russian Environmentalists Raise Concerns About Ecological Policy