CHINA, January 4 - 2010 : Large Oil Spill Reported in China - Importante marée noire signalés en Chine
Importante marée noire signalés en Chine
Large Oil Spill Reported in China
SHANGHAI — A large oil spill in northwest China has heavily polluted a tributary of the Yellow River, and threatens to reach one of the country’s longest and most important sources of water.
China’s state-run news media said late Saturday that a “large amount” of diesel oil had leaked out of a pipeline last Thursday in Shaanxi Province.
The government has not explained why the report of the spill was not released until late Saturday. But Xinhua, the official state news agency, said the leak was caused by construction work and that a crew of 700 people was struggling to contain the damage from what Shaanxi officials said was about 150,000 liters, or about 40,000 gallons, of diesel oil.
The damaged pipeline belongs to the China National Petroleum Corporation, one of the country’s state-owned oil giants and the parent company of PetroChina. The company did not specify on Saturday exactly how much oil was spilled but said that it had shut down the pipeline. The company also said that “much of the leaked oil and polluted silt has already been taken away.” But government officials in Shaanxi province said on Saturday that oil has been detected far downstream from the leak and warned local residents not to use water in the region.
The oil pipeline, which transports oil from northwest China to central parts of the country, was damaged and released oil into the Chisui River and Wei River, a tributary of the Yellow River, according to Xinhua.
The Yellow River, which stretches for about 5,500 kilometers, or about 3,400 miles, is a source of water for approximately 140 million residents, and it also provides water to factories and farms through northern China.
In November 2005, a huge amount of toxic benzene leaked out and damaged the Songhua River in north China’s Heilongjiang Province, cutting off water supplies for millions of residents.
Some local officials were disciplined for a delay in reporting the spill, which later created a panic among residents....
By DAVID BARBOZA - NEWS YORK TIMES
nytimes.com - Published: January 3, 2010
YELLOW RIVER / CHINA, January 4 2010 : China water warning as oil spill hits Yellow River
China water warning as oil spill hits Yellow River
According to BBC NEWS, Pollution from a broken oil pipeline in northern China has now reached one of the country's major water sources - the Yellow River, state media say.
Hundreds of workers had battled to contain the oil upstream, but officials discovered traces in the river itself.
The traces were found about 200km (124 miles) upstream from Zhengzhou.
Three counties in neighbouring Shaanxi province have warned people not to take supplies from the river or drink river water.
Correspondents say local towns and cities get some of their water from the river, the rest from underground water sources.
The official Xinhua news agency said: "At present, cities along the river in Henan province have sufficient water resources."
About 150,000 litres of diesel poured into the Wei river in Shaanxi province after a construction accident on Wednesday, state media reported.
The leak occurred on the fuel pipeline operated by the state-run China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) that connects Lanzhou in the north-west province of Gansu with Zhengzhou in central Henan province, according to the China Daily newspaper.
The diesel first went into the Chishui river, a tributary of the Wei.
Around 700 emergency workers are said to be labouring round the clock, using floating dams and solidifying agents to contain the spill.
Their task has been helped by the current cold weather in the region.
Page last updated at 13:04 GMT, Monday, 4 January 2010
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