Hungary Disaster

Posted on Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 at 3:05 pm by Kathy Filo

First thing this morning my full attention was on Hungary and the toxic sludge disaster that happened yesterday. My relatives live in Budapest. My Aunt said that the Magyar Aluminum factory’s residue reservoir burst 160 km Southwest of Budapest and millions of cubic feet of toxic sludge spilled into the streets of the town of Devescer, and two neighboring towns. The sludge contains lye, which eats through everything. Six people are missing and another eight are in critical condition suffering from chemical burns, with more to be expected. According to the Daily Telegraph this morning in some places the torrent, which swept cars off roads and damaged bridges, was eight feet deep. With contamination this extensive, everything will need to be scraped up and shipped away once neutralized.

The biggest danger is the sludge seeping into the water supply. My Aunt said that one river is already pink and if it gets into Raba, Tisza and at the end Duna (Danube) then it would be disastrous, effecting many countries. Business week says that following the Marcal, the contamination would reach the Danube at Gyor (my sister taught English there for two years…it’s a beautiful little town), about halfway between Vienna and Budapest. The river reaches Croatia about 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of the Hungarian capital, then travels through Serbia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine and Romania before reaching the Black Sea.

The country has declared a state of emergency and could take up to 12 months and tens of millions of dollars to clean up and is considered to be “an ecological disaster” that is “unprecedented” in the world. My heart is with Hungary today.

Business Week Article

– Kathy

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  1. :-[ this is really sad, and I hope those downstream countries really help Hungary clean it up right away – lets hope they can get it contained before it seeps into the water!

  2. I know, Tom … isn’t it shocking? So tragic. I will be glued to the news this evening for sure. 2010 seems to be the year for catastrophic disasters around the world.

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