OT?: Unfolding environmental disaster as Romanian cyanide pollution spreads to Hungary: water supply, wildlife in danger

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No word yet on the cause (or details concerning how when the cyanide contamination occurred in this unfolding environmental disaster:

Romanian cyanide pollution in Hungary: water supply, wildlife in danger Source: BBC Monitoring European - Political Publication date: Feb 06, 2000

Excerpts from report by Hungarian Duna TV on 6th February


Owing to the cyanide pollution [which arrived from a Romanian mine through rivers to eastern Hungary], the number of fish perishing in the river Tisza [eastern Hungary] has been on the rise and now reached mass-scale destruction. Barges are being used to remove the dead fish from the river.

According to experts, Hungary has no chance of any legal remedy -compensation - because Hungary has no valid compensation agreement with Romania which could be applied to the perishing of fish. Those who have suffered losses can turn only to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

[Reporter] ...

The collection of dead fish surfacing from beneath the ice started below Tokaj [northeastern Hungary] yesterday. The dead fish has continuously been transported for destruction... The water started to become cleaner at the upper section of Tisza because the water of Bodrog [northeasternHungary] has significantly diluted the pollution in Tisza. However, the cyanide content is still more than 37 times higher than the legal limit.

At the power station [at Tiszaloek], the level of water in theEastern Main Canal, which provides drinking water for Debrecen[major city in northeastern Hungary], was raised before the pollution had arrived. The gates were closed after this,therefore the poison, which can lead to suffocation, does not threaten the city's residents. The pollution is expected to reach the Tisza Lake, which has a unique wildlife, tomorrow. [Reporter 2] According to forecasts, the cyanide pollution can reach [the central section of] Tisza at Szolnok [easternHungary], on Tuesday [8th February], at the earliest.

Environmental experts expect the 32-fold-higher-than-permitted pollution level measured at Tiszaloek to be diluted significantly by the time it reaches Szolnok. Since Szonok's drinking water is based on the water of the Tisza, water supplies may have to be suspended. The residents are trying to increase their stock of mineral water on time...

The Water Authority has reassured the residents that no cyanide pollution can get into the water pipes but, if the water supply has to be suspended, the amount of water remaining in the pipes will be enough for six to eight hours only.

Publication date: Feb 06, 2000 ) 2000, NewsReal, Inc.



-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), February 06, 2000


Thanks Carl. Can't imagine.

-- Hokie (Hokie_@hotmail.com), February 06, 2000.

as I recall from chemistry class, where we used potassium cyanide in a qualatative analysis test, it only takes an itty bitty amount to kill you, because the stuff never wears out, it just bounces around until your dead, not something you want bouncing around your water supply, doncha think?

-- Lock'n'Load (I'm@sphyxiating.net), February 07, 2000.

This sounds like the source may be some mine's heap leaching process of extracting gold (other metals?) from low quality ore.

If the environmentalists can end up stopping this kind of "mining", I'm all for it. And I'm all for the increase in the price per ounce it will take to get it out of the ground, and the resulting effect it will have on gold already out of the ground.

-- JIT (justintime@rightnow.net), February 07, 2000.

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