Russia has declared a state of emergency after a fuel reservoir collapsed, spilling 20,000 tonnes of oil into the Arctic Circle.
The spill occurred at a power plant near the Siberian city of Norilsk, contaminating 135 sq miles of area, which is expected to have catastrophic consequences.
Sergey Verkhovets, the coordinator of Arctic projects at the Russian World Wildlife Fund (WWF) branch, said that they are worried about fishes, polluted plumage of birds, and poisoned animals.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized the head of the plant for the delay in reporting the matter.
The plant is owned by a division of Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and one of the largest producers of nickel.
It is not the first time that Norilsk Nickel has been criticized for its environmental aspects as in 2010, a report claimed that the mining and metallurgical plants under the company have been emitting millions of tons of toxic substances into the atmosphere for almost 75 years, thus putting all lives in danger.
In the Russian legislature, there is a stipulation of declaring an emergency if more than 5000 tonnes of oil is spilled within the country’s borders. Guess what, it is four times the upper limit!
The emergency is declared to stop the oceanic activities so that more resources can be arranged to clean up the spill but that doesn’t guarantee the mixing of toxic elements in the waters.
Meanwhile, reports say, criminal investigative committee has been set up and the manager of the power plant has been detained. Temporary floating barriers, called the oil booms, have been put in place before the spill could reach the Pyasino lake, a significant freshwater lake near the spot.