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The risk another, longer toxic spill from China’s Songhua river may reach the Amur river with spring flood waters is looming on the horizon
The risk another, longer toxic spill from China’s Songhua (Sungari) river may reach the Amur river with spring flood waters is looming on the horizon, the emergency situations commission in the city of Khabarovsk was told on Friday. According to the local weather watching service, the first tide of flood water from melting ice in the Songhua river and other tributaries of the Amur will reach Khabarovsk in late April, and the second, in late May. Toxic chemicals, caught in ice and bottom sediment, will certainly make themselves felt again, analysts said. Concentrations of nitrobenzene and benzene, according to the results of preliminary monitoring, will be far below those of last winter, when 100 tonnes of chemicals leaked into the Songhua river after an explosion at the chemical combine in China’s Jilin province. Ecologists and medical workers are somewhat alarmed over the tests of samples taken in March in the Songhua river basin. The territorial natural resources ministry said the presence of benzopyrene and other polyaromatic hydrocarbons was 300 percent above the tolerance limit. The emergency situations commission, sanitary and epidemiological services and all life support structures are preparing for any march of events. “In case of a large-scale or local suspension of water supply systems fresh water reserves are being built up in the city, including its retail trade establishments,” the chief of Khabarovsk’s press-service Alexander Gorbunov has said. Double cleaning of drinking water with granulated and powder activated carbon will be introduced as of Monday. This technology, tested last winter, guarantees neutralization of benzene compounds at levels of up to two tolerance limits.
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