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The Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations expects the benzene concentration in the Amur river
The Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations expects the benzene concentration in the Amur river to decline thanks to more fresh water discharged from water reserves on the Chinese territory, the Anti-Calamity Centre of the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations told Tass on Monday. Thanks to an increased amount of water discharged from the Chinese water reserves more fresh water has been running into the Sungari river, which will help lower the benzene concentration and at the same time push up the spill’s speed up to 50 kilometers per day, said a representative of the Anti-Calamity Centre. Experts do not rule out that more fresh water discharged in China might cause water level in the Amur to go 1.5 meters up, which is fraught with a possibility of river water breaking through the ice through ice holes. Nonetheless, there is no threat of ice drifting or any other hydrological phenomena, the Ministry assured. At present, the benzene spill is 24 kilometers off the settlement of Petrovskoye in the Jewish Autonomous Republic, according to the ministry's press service. Water samples taken in the area of the settlement of Nizhne-Leninskoye showed benzene concentration off the right bank of the Amur river being 1,02 percent of the permissible norm, 0,55 percent in the middle of the river and 0,11 percent off its left bank. Forty-six water samples have been taken from the Amur River over the past twenty-four hours, the Ministry for Emergency Situations said. Laboratory tests of the Amur water have been made in Khabarovsk, and additional water samples have been taken off Nizhne-Leninskoye, Petrovskoye and Nizhne Spasskoye. At present, the contaminated area is around 180 kilometers long. The benzene spill had been moving at the speed of 2.5 kilometers per hour throughout the past day. The spill is expected to reach Khabarovsk by December 21.
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