Hezhou’s Hejiang River in the autonomous region of Guangxi Zhuang will be keeping around 30000 people downstream in the county of Fengkai. This is a move because of its cadmium and thallium contaminated water. The river water cannot be used for about 3 weeks, with millions of people in the River Pearl delta being put on high alert.
112 illegal metal mines were closed by the Hezhou government on Saturday along the River Maweihe, with 79 of them being declared as the source of pollution by 9 am the next day. The industrial wastes of these mines were carried by floods to the river. Cadmium and thallium are poisonous and carcinogenic heavy metal pollutants.
The task force’s leader Xu Zhencheng said that the water will be clearing itself up through the pollutants’ natural dilution and it will be another 7 days before the quality of the water returns to its previous state. He also clarified that given the current situation of the river the pollutants cannot be neutralized by throwing in more chemicals. As of now, the situation is under control and the water will get recovered within 20 days.
At a news conference on Sunday, Bi Haidong, Vice-Mayor of Hezhou, apologised for the negligence committed by the environmental protection bureau of Hezhou.