Blood red Daldykan river in Russia, Satellite image, Google
  • Russian river near Norilsk has turned blood red 
  • Possible culprit might be Norilsk Nickel which has a metal plant upstream
  • There is no immediate threat to residents as river isn’t connected to public water supply

Sept 13, 2016: The citizens of Norilsk woke up to a nasty surprise on Tuesday, Sept 06 when they saw the Daldykan river had turned blood red. The residents say that this isn’t the first time this has happened but did not explain further on the subject.

Many possible reasons have been pointed for this change ranging from the iron ore in ground to leak from pipes to some even citing bible and pointing to an apocalypse. Russia’s natural resources and environment ministry has started an investigation and says preliminary information points toward Norilsk Nickel’s Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant which is located upstream.

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In an official statement, it said,” the water may have reddened due to discharge from “an unidentified chemical” from the nearby Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant on Wednesday. If a pipeline broke, contaminants could have leaked into the river, the ministry added.

Norilsk Nickel denied an industrial spill into the Daldykan and said the “colour of the river today doesn’t differ from its usual condition”, the state news agency RIA Novosti reported. But the company said it was temporarily reducing manufacturing work while it monitored the situation.

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Although the residents are no immediate danger as the Daldykan river is not connected to the public water supply; The environmental damage can’t be ignored. Norilsk is a resource rich area near the world’s largest deposits of nickel, copper, and palladium.

Payal Sampat, the mining program director at Earthworks, an environmental organization says, “It’s known that Norilsk is one of the most polluted sites in Russia. It was a ticking time bomb that was on the verge of exploding,”and it’s gone off.”

– prepared by Anubhuti Gupta with inputs from various sources