Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hungary...Toxic Sludge Is An Ecological Catastrophe

As if the loss of 4 lives and 120 injuries was not enough of a tragedy, we now are focusing on the ecological catastrophe that is unfolding.  

Hungary today declared a state of emergency in three western counties after a dam holding back a vast reservoir of toxic red sludge, from an aluminum plant burst.  The sludge, which is waste produced during aluminium manufacture, swept cars off roads and damaged bridges and homes, forcing the evacuation of 400 residents. About 7,000 people are thought to have been directly affected by the spill.

The sludge poured out yesterday when a dam at the reservoir of the Ajkai Timfoldgyar Zrt aluminum plant, owned by MAL Zrt, broke after days of heavy rain.

The Guardian of the U.K. reports that, so far, about 1,000,000 cubic meters of sludge have leaked from the reservoir.  Seven towns, including Kolontal, Devecser, and Somlovasarhely, have  been affected near the plant in Ajka, 100 miles southwest of Budapest.

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