An ecological disaster in Russia’s far east Kamchatka kills sea creatures
Local authorities in the eastern Russian city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy have been warning people against visiting the nearby Khalaktyrsky beach after surfers complained of partially losing their eyesight and experiencing headaches, fevers, and nausea when venturing into the water.
Images of dead octopuses, seals, sea urchins littered along the beach also have been shared on social media, with some beachgoers saying dead fish look as if they have been boiled.
The cause of the pollution off the coast of the Kamchatka region was not immediately clear. Authorities said preliminary tests had found elevated levels of oil products and the chemical phenol while Greenpeace told them to urgently find the source.
” The only thing it is possible to say now is there are contaminative substances in the water. Final tests are not ready yet,” Kamchatka’s regional governor Vladimir Solodov said.
Greenpeace suggested the pollution could have happened weeks ago and call it “an ecological disaster”.
It said the pollution was noticed over the course of several weeks by people on Khalaktyrsky beach, a section of Pacific coastline covered with black volcanic sand that is dozens of kilometers long and popular with tourists.
“The water… has changed color and become unsafe for people’s health. For several weeks people who were in contact with the water have experienced negative consequences,”
After getting into the water, people have complained of sore throats, worsening eyesight, dry eyes, nausea, physical weakness, vomiting, and fever.
Kamchatka is one of Russia’s remotest regions, famous for its pristine nature and active volcanoes.