A massive fish kill has been discovered in Tianjin Haihe River, fueling concerns that the recent explosions caused by toxic chemicals have severely harmed the environment, Ming Pao Daily reported on Friday.
However, the local environmental monitoring center said Thursday night that no traces of cyanide were found in water samples from the river after testing.
The dead fish were seen floating on the waters of Haihe River, around six kilometers from the site of the blasts. Among them were thornback, a ray species known to be sensitive to changes in the environment.
A Tianjin resident surnamed Gao said such a large number of dead fish was seldom seen at this time of the year in the past, and he believes it was caused by the spread of toxic chemicals into the river.
Deng Xiaowen, director of the Tianjin Environmental Monitoring Center, said a technical team is conducting further tests to determine if the fish kill was related to the pollution caused by the blasts.
Fish kills have been reported in the river in the past, especially during summer, when the weather is hot and oxygen in the water is depleted.
Meanwhile, environmental experts said water samples taken from a pool at the blast site contained cyanide exceeding the safety limit by over 800 times.
They said cleaning up the area would take two to three months.
The State Oceanic Administration said seawater samples taken near the Tianjin port contained very low levels of cyanide, which will exert little impact on the ocean’s ecology.
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