Toxic water is threatening to pollute water supplies to almost four million people in a Chinese city. This is all happening to the city of Harbin following an explosion at a chemical plant nearly two weeks ago that released more than 100 times the safe level of benzene into Songhua River. Officials have now warned the residents of the city, the capital of north-eastern China to watch for symptoms of benzene poisoning. Though no cases of poisoning have been reported as yet, hospitals have been ordered to prepare for contamination victims. Heavy doses of benzene can cause anaemia and kidney and liver damage, and if the poisoning has occurred, measures have to be taken immediately. 368 old wells surrounding the city have been reopened. Though thousands of tankers have been brought in to provide 16,000 tonnes of drinking water, what more measures have to be taken, has still not been described. The 80km (50 mile) stretch of pollution passed Harbin’s water supply inlet early this morning and would flow past the city itself on Saturday, a provincial government spokesman told the state news agency, Xinhua.
Picture Credit: Reuters