- Hello Jeff - This eco-disaster of epic proportions is
infuriating to me. I get so angry at the hubris of human beings. I am
sure that the pond was over filled and the heavy rains simply enabled the
overfilled pond to collapse the earthen dam's wall. The dam may also have
not been maintained up to standard EU law. IF that is the case, then the
pressure on an overfilled unmaintained earthen dam simply caused that tailings
dam to rupture. Someone, or some people, should be held liable and responsible.
- There were 7,000 people affected in 3 villages. The
sludge is working its way toward Budapest via the Danube River. In an
attempt to seal off the sludge while it was still in the Marcal River,
plaster and vinegar was poured into the river. Unfortunately, that failed
and the sludge continued into the Toma River and onto the Danube where
it entered a branch early this morning and finally entered the main Danube
river around 11 am.
- 390 people in the three villages have been relocated,
homes are declared unlivable. 110 people had been rescued from their homes
by police, soldiers and neighbors. 500 police and soldiers were deployed.
6 emergency disaster teams had also been deployed.
- As you know, all water life in the Marcal River is gone,
- This is the worst chemical accident (accident???) in
- 35.3 million cubic feet of poison, burning and cancer
causing red slurry has contaminated a wide area and is still flowing in
- This is another eco-disaster of epic proportion. When
will humans stop destroying the planet? It is all about G R E E D $$$$$$$
- SCIENTISTS SAY HEAVY METAL IN SLUDGE NOT DANGEROUS ?????
- Who the heck are they kidding?
- KOLONTAR, Hungary Hungary's most prestigious organization
of scientists and researchers says tests of the red sludge flowing into
the Danube show no dangerous heavy metal levels.
- The Hungarian Academy of Science says tests of samples
taken Tuesday show the heavy metal concentrations do "not come close"
to levels considered dangerous to the environment.
- The academy says the sludge is still dangerous. But the
statement Thursday suggests the main menace to health and the environment
comes from the slurry's caustic characteristics.
- Disaster relief officials say more than 150 people -
most of them suffering chemical burns - were treated in hospitals after
part of a metals factory reservoir collapsed and a toxic torrent swept
through three villages killing at least four people.
- THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further
information. AP's earlier story is below.
- KOLONTAR, Hungary (AP) - The toxic red sludge that burst
out of a Hungarian factory's reservoir reached the mighty Danube on Thursday
after wreaking havoc on smaller rivers and creeks, an emergency official
- The European Union and environmental officials both fear
an environmental catastrophe affecting half a dozen nations if the red
sludge, a waste product of making aluminum, contaminates the Danube, Europe's
- Officials from several nations downstream - Croatia,
Serbia and Romania - were testing the river every few hours Thursday but
hoping that the Danube's huge water volume would blunt the impact of the
- The reservoir break Monday disgorged a toxic torrent
through three villages and creeks that flow into waterways connected to
the Danube. Creeks in Kolontar, the western Hungarian village closest to
the spill site, were swollen ochre red days later and villagers said they
were devoid of fish. Kolontar is 45 miles (70 kilometers) south of the
- The red sludge reached the western branch of the Danube
early Thursday and its broad, main stretch by noon, Hungarian rescue agency
spokesman Tibor Dobson told the state MTI news agency.
- He said up to now there were "no heavy metals in
the drinking water" of the affected region but did not address concerns
that the caustic slurry might contain toxic heavy metals.
- Dobson said the pH content of the red sludge entering
the Danube had been reduced to the point where it was unlikely to cause
further environmental damage. It had been tested earlier at a pH level
of 13 and now was down under 10, and no dead fish had been spotted where
the slurry was entering the Danube, he said.
- A neutral pH level for water is 7, with normal readings
ranging from 6.5 to 8.5. Each pH number is 10 times the previous level,
so a pH of 13 is 1,000 times more alkaline than a pH of 10.
- The sludge has devastated less powerful waterways.
- "Life in the Marcal River has been extinguished,"
Dobson told The Associated Press, referring to the 25-mile (40-kilometer)
stretch of the river that carried the red waste from Kolontar into the
Raba River, which then flows into the Danube.
- He said emergency crews were pouring plaster and acetic
acid - vinegar - into the Raba-Danube meeting point to lower the slurry's
- "The main effort is now being concentrated on the
Raba and the Danube," he said. "That's what has to be saved."
- Dobson said the lack of immediate environmental damage
to the Danube or Raba was "by no means a victory declaration,"
cautioning that dead fish could still turn up shortly.
- Prime Minister Viktor Orban, stopping at dawn in Kolontar,
described the reservoir break as a disaster unprecedented in Hungary.
- "If this had happened at night then everyone here
would have died," the MTI news agency quoted him as telling villagers.
- Orban suggested someone was clearly to blame, angrily
exclaiming: "This is so irresponsible that it is impossible to find
- Local officials said 34 homes in Kolontar were unlivable
but furious residents said the disaster had destroyed the whole village
of 800 by making their land worthless. The prime minister called the worst-hit
area a total write-off, saying he sees "no sense" in rebuilding
in the same location.
- Soldiers, emergency workers and volunteers dressed in
a range of mud-splattered protective gear kept shoveling out the muck Thursday,
a process that one official said could take months.
- It is still not known why part of the reservoir collapsed
and allowed the toxic torrent estimated at 35 million cubic feet (1 million
cubic meters) of waste to sweep through the villages, killing at least
four people and leaving three people missing. Disaster officials said over
150 people had been treated at hospitals, and 11 were still in serious
- Hungary's top investigative agency, the National Investigation
Office, took over the probe into the spill and planned to look into whether
on-the-job carelessness was a factor.
- MAL Rt., the Hungarian Aluminum Production and Trade
Company, which owns the Ajkai Timfoldgyar plant where the spill occurred,
insists the sludge is not considered hazardous waste according to EU standards.
It has also rejected criticism that it should have taken more precautions
at the reservoir.
- South of Hungary, the 1,775-mile (2,850-kilometer) long
Danube flows through Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Moldova
before emptying into the Black Sea.
- At the Croatian village of Batina, the first site after
the Danube leaves Hungary, experts were taking water samples Thursday which
they will repeat daily for the next week, the state-run news agency HINAS
- In Romania, water levels were reported safe Thursday,
with testing being carried out every three hours. Romanian Waters spokeswoman
Ana Maria Tanase said the Danube water had a pH of 8.5, within normal levels,
but tests were checking for heavy metals.
- The huge reservoir, more than 1,000 feet (300 meters)
long and 1,500 feet (450 meters) wide, was no longer leaking and a triple-tiered
protective wall was being built around its damaged section. Guards have
been posted to give an early warning in case of any new emergency.
- Still, Kolontar Mayor Karoly Tili noted that the disaster
occurred only a week after Hungarian environmental authorities had declared
the reservoir safe.
- "People are scared," he told the AP. "People
no longer trust or believe what is said about the reservoir."
- Etel Stampf, 76, was in her backyard in Kolontar when
the first waves of the flood hit. She climbed on the roof of her pigsty
to survive, but the flooding was so high that one of her legs dangled in
the cold red water for an hour and was left badly burned.
- "If I don't die now, I never will," Stampf
said she thought while clinging to the pigsty's main beam.
- "We worked so hard for years to have something for
ourselves and now it's all gone," Stampf said. "I don't want
to stay here. Ten years from now there will be nothing left of this town."
- Herwit Schuster, a spokesman for Greenpeace International,
described the spill as "one of the top three environmental disasters
in Europe in the last 20 or 30 years."
- The International Commission for the Protection of the
Danube, which manages the river and its tributaries, said the sludge spill
could trigger long-term damaging effects for both wildlife and humans.
- Red sludge is a byproduct of the refining of bauxite
into alumina, the basic material for manufacturing aluminum. Treated sludge
is often stored in ponds where the water eventually evaporates, leaving
behind a dried red clay-like soil.
- Alumina plants are scattered around the world, with the
12 largest concentrated in Australia, Brazil and China.
- Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural
Economics Univ of West Indies Please visit my "Emerging Diseases"
message board at: http://www.emergingdisease.org/phpbb/index.php Also my
new website: http://drpdoyle.tripod.com/ Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
Go with God and in Good Health