Harbin’s water emergency: Fudging on leak let rumours fuel the fears

From The South China Morning Post, via A Glimpse of the World:

The central government’s admission yesterday that the Songhua river was severely polluted in a chemical factory explosion last week confirmed what many people had suspected. A statement issued by the State Environmental Protection Administration explained how the pollution had spread and did not seek to play down the seriousness of the problem. This was a welcome move to clear up uncertainty. But it was overdue. The announcement came 10 days after the blast in Jilin . More worryingly, the chemical plant had denied any pollution spill. And officials downstream in

had initially claimed that the city’s water supply was being suspended in order to conduct maintenance – when the real reason was the pollution.

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