Russia and China prepare for recovery of water contamination

Published 2 December 2005

Figuratively speaking, no nation is an island. China and Russia have much to work out together as the fall-out from the 13 November chemical plant explosion in northeast China’s Jilin Province travels up the Songhua River and into Russia. China is also working to develop additional disaster response plans as — there as in the U.S.— a major disaster has demonstrated an overall lack of preparedness. For Russia, at least, the rivers’ flow has created a significant window for planning a response to the natural disaster. Russian public television has announced that as soon as benzene is discovered at the confluence of the Songhua and the Amur, a state of emergency will be declared in Khabarovsk, a city of about 600,000 that relies on the river for drinking water. Russian officials have advised that city residents begin now to stockpile ten liters per person per day. or just over 2.5 gallons, for the four days of water shut-off that are anticipated when the spill arrives.

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