From AP, via The Seattle Times:
A dam temporarily blocked a toxic spill of cadmium from flowing downstream and reaching the country’s southern business center, Guangzhou, a news report said today. It was the second manmade disaster to hit a Chinese river in six weeks.
On Thursday, a slick of toxic benzene from the first accident in the north arrived in the Russian city of Khabarovsk, where residents’ calls flooded a telephone hot line.
The twin disasters highlight the precarious state of China’s water supplies for industry and homes. Regulators say its major rivers are badly polluted and millions of people lack access to clean water.
The accidents are an embarrassment to President Hu Jintao’s government, which has promised to clean up environmental damage from China’s 25 years of breakneck economic growth.