Ecological catastrophe in the river along the German-Polish border. Pollution or drought?
It’s alarm ecological catastrophe in the Oder River, along the border between Germany and Poland, where at least 10 tons of dead fish have surfaced. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki speculates a massive spill of chemicals into the river, but water analyzes have not solved the mystery, with some experts pointing the finger at falling water levels and high temperatures due to climate change. The German Environment Ministry says it fears that the effects of the catastrophe could also affect marine life in the Baltic.
In Germany, the authorities have banned fishing in the Oder and the use of its waters. This morning the German land of Brandenburg deployed 300 emergency service operators, wearing protective gloves and small boats, who are trying to retrieve dead fish along some 80 kilometers. Reporters on the spot report an unbearable stench of rotten fish.
In Poland, the government has deployed 150 soldiers along the banks of the river to deal with the emergency. “It is likely that an enormous amount of chemical waste has been spilled into the river, in full knowledge of the risks and consequences,” said the Polish premier, whose government has offered a reward equivalent to 210 thousand euros for those who will provide information on the responsible. But so far, experts have not offered a clear explanation for the phenomenon, which began to manifest itself two weeks ago at Olawa in the Polish region of Lower Silesia. Then traces of mesitylene, a toxic substance for fish, were found. But the substance disappeared in subsequent tests.
Water tests carried out in the German land of Brandenburg, Deutsche Welle reported yesterday, indicated a high level of mercury. According to Christian Wolter, a researcher at the University of Leipzig, one of the main causes of the disaster could be the lowering of the river’s waters, due to drought, which brought out the mercury due to previous pollution, which is found in the silt at the bottom of the river. ‘Oder. In addition, the lowering of the river waters, and the high external temperatures, have caused a lowering of oxygen in the water which suffocates the fish. The situation is exacerbated by the dumping of waste in the river.