Russia's Khabarovsk prepares for chemical attack

Benzene-contaminated waters to flow the city by this weekend

A state of emergency has been put in effect in the Russian city of Khabarovsk for the days when the toxic slick from the Chinese chemical plant passes through the waters of the Amur River on Saturday and Sunday. Locals save water in Khabarovsk

The waters contaminated with chlorine and phenol reached the area of the Amur River on Thursday. The governor of the Khabarovsk region, Viktor Ishayev, said that the chemicals flowing in the water would not achieve a level that would threaten the ecological situation in the region.

”We had to close water inlets for several hours and announce the state of emergency,” governor Ishayev said. “Specialists are taking urgent measures to dilute the concentration of nitrobenzene in the water,” the official said.

Specialists use activated charcoal at water stations to neutralize the toxic chemicals. There was no need to shut down the systems of centralized water supply in the city and deliver potable water to the population.

Hydrologists continue to monitor the waters of the Amur River, analyzing up to 100 water samples a day. Specialists analyze a wide range of chemical compounds, heavy metals and other substances found in the water. 

The governor of the Khabarovsk region believes that the federal government has failed to take efficient measures in connection with the ecological threat. “We lost time because of bureaucratic delays in the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Ministry for Nature,” the governor said.

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Author`s name Olga Savka