News / Asia

China’s Wenzhou River Turns Red

A man looks at a contaminated river in Cangnan county of Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, July 24, 2014.
A man looks at a contaminated river in Cangnan county of Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, July 24, 2014.
Shannon Van Sant

River water turned red in an eastern Chinese city in recent days, sparking fears of another environmental crisis in China.  The incident is just the latest in a series of environmental scares for people in China.  
 
Late last week, residents in Wenzhou, China, awoke to find the river running through their city a crimson shade of red. Some also complained of an acrid smell in the air.  The local environmental protection bureau investigated the incident and said they found no sign of discharge from the factories that line the river, including a paper manufacturer, food coloring company and clothing-maker.
 
Cause undetermined

Yixiu Wu, who tracks water pollution issues for Greenpeace, said even though the cause of the river water contamination has not been found, it is a sign of environmental problems increasingly impacting urban residents.   “I think the water pollution problem, it’s no longer a remote problem, only in the countryside," he said. "It’s affecting everyone.  Even people in the cities.”
 
Wenzhou is a center for commerce on China’s eastern coast.  It is also a center of Christian faith in China and is often referred to as China’s Jerusalem.  After the river water turned red some residents posted on social media that the crimson waters were a sign of Armageddon - an event described in the (Christian) Bible as marking the end of the world.
 
While the river contamination may not be the sign of the end of times, environmentalist Ma Jun said it signifies a crucial time in China’s fight against pollution.
 
“So I think the next 20 years will be quite critical.  The government needs to make efforts to reduce pollution to provide a safe and healthy environment for this generation,” Ma stated.
 
The river water change is the latest of several environmental incidents in China.  In 2012, the Yangtze river also turned red from illegal dumping by a nearby factory, and last year more than 2,000 dead pigs were found floating through a river in Shanghai.  China’s government has also identified several hundred so called “cancer villages,” where the rates of cancer are unusually high due to industrial pollution.
 
Pollution, a growing problem

Ma said there are more than 1,700 water pollution incidents in China every year.

“China is facing a serious water pollution challenge.  Much of our rivers, lakes and even our aquifers are polluted. Especially in the densely populated regions. This has posed a serious risk.  Up to 300 million residents don’t have access to safe drinking water,” said Ma.
 
Earlier this year Chinese Premier Li Keqiang vowed to wage war on pollution.  Environmental activists say that war will depend on enforcement of existing Chinese laws, which would be welcomed by the residents of Wenzhou, where 80 percent of the water off of the city’s coast is considered polluted.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Pat Adams from: Akansas
July 30, 2014 12:05 AM
Wake up people, we are in the End of Days.


In Response

by: Anonymous
July 31, 2014 12:55 AM
You do know that this isn't the first time water has turned red in the last 10 years right?

What makes this one any different than the others various times?
In Response

by: Anonymous
July 30, 2014 1:34 AM
Your exactly right

by: Chuck C from: U.S.
July 29, 2014 11:15 PM
Worlds largest Kool-aid Punchbowl.

by: enockbwalya from: zambia
July 29, 2014 8:21 AM
Remember the times of Egypt in the bible...

by: clement from: malawi
July 29, 2014 6:39 AM
thats the end of the world CHINA people &it means you are too IRROGANT thats why GOD want to punish YOU in that way...........

by: Viet Cong from: HCM City
July 28, 2014 12:26 PM
It is a good omen for the CCP and for China, even the rivers, this one and others, in the country have turned red from time to time.
In Response

by: PC from: Dalat vietnam
July 29, 2014 12:19 AM
China, you reap what you sow

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More