Lenntech Water treatment & purification Lenntech Water treatment & purification

Recent environmental disasters

Environmental disasters that occurred after January 2000

November 2006 - At least 23 people are killed in a mine in the south of Poland, consequential to a methane explosion. Only three people survive the mining accident.

November 2006 - At least eight people are killed by a series of tornadoes in North-Carolina, USA. Considerable damage is done, and authorities fear the death toll will increase further.

October 2006 - The Greek Isle of Crete is subject to storms. Parts of the isle are flooded and dozens of tourists are evacuated. A number of houses flood and water is pumped out by firemen. Aerial traffic is complicated.

October 2006 - An earthquake of 6,6 on the Richter schale hits Hawaii, causing emergency measures to be taken. The location is relatively sparsely populated, therefore damages are limited. Honolulu experiences power outage, and 3000 people are evacuated from two beach hotels.

October 2006 - Typhoon Xangsane kills at least 16 people in Japan, and in China another person is killed. Earlier, the typhoon caused the death of 76 people in the Phillipines.

September 2006 - Explosion in a mine in southeast Ukraine kills at least 13 people, and injures 36 people. The explosion is caused by a leak in a carbon-gastank.

September 2006 - Explosion in a Mittal Steel mine in Kazachstan kills 18 people. The cause remains unknown, and 40 people are declared missing.

September 2006 – Human rights organisation Christian Aid announces that the continuing drought might cause a famine in Afghanistan that may kill millions of people.

September 2006 – A fire in a waste treatment plant in Maastricht, The Netherlands, causes smoke and smell nuisance.

September 2006 – Illegally deposited waste from oil tanker Probo Koala causes and environmental disaster at Ivory Coast. Seven people die from intoxication, and another 40,000 people fall ill. Oil residues contain toxic substances, such as hydrogen sulphide (H2S). Eight people responsible for the disaster are arrested, and environmental and transport ministers are replaced, followed by a major clean-up operation.

July 2006 – Bombing of an electricity plant during the Lebanon war causes a leakage of 25,000 tons of crude oil from the Lebanese coast to the Mediterranean Sea.

June 2006 – Typhoon Ewiniar hits China, Korea and the Japanese islands and kills at least 40 people. An enormous amount of people needs to be evacuated, and many homes are destroyed by storms and floods caused by heavy rains.

February 2006 - In Bosnia-Herzegovina 18 tons of boiling hot oil pollute the River Neretva in the south. The oil comes from a transformator of a power plant in Jablanica.

January 2006 - Six tons of diesel oil leak into the Yellow River in the province of Henan, China from a power plant and spreads towards the Bohai Sea. Fortunately, not much damage is done to local shrimp fishery, because shrimps are only present in sediments during winter.

January 2006 – Food crisis in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti, caused by extreme drought and civil war, results in a famine that victimizes 11 million Africans. In Kenya, at least 30 people die of hunger.

December 2005 - Chinese authorities dump iron and aluminum into the Bei River in the province of Guangdong. It is carried out as a measure to prevent further spreading of cadmium pollution caused earlier that month.

December 2005 - A Slovakian oil tanker containing 42 tons of crude oil catches fire and sinks near Bulgaria in the Danube River. The accident causes a kilometre-wide oil slick, and measures are taken to prevent further oil spills.

November 2005 – A Series of explosions in a petrochemical plant in China pollutes the River Songhua, and leaves the city of Harbin without water for days. In total, the benzene spill kills 5 people, injures another few dozen people, and results in the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents in the area.

October 2005 - A fire in the east wing of the prison complex in Schiphol, The Netherlands, kills 11 people. The Safety Counsel states that fire damage could have been prevented if government services would have followed fire safety regulation. Fire tests indicate that a cigarette fag caused the fire.

October 2005 – Hurricane Wilma hits parts of Mexico and Cuba, results in mudflows, kills 62 people and causes over 20 million dollars damage.

October 2005 – Earthquake in Kashmir, Pakistan kills over 80,000 people, and leaves over 3.3 million homeless. Most people die during landslides caused by the quake. Reconstruction is difficult, and a year later not all structures are repaired. An estimated 66,000 people still do not have a home, and about 40,000 of them stay in refugee camps.

September 2005 - Manure pollutes the River Linde in The Netherlands, between Wolvega and De Blesse. Fish deaths are numerous, and surrounding cities experience smell nuisance. It is suspected that a farmer in Noordwolde spilled manure a few weeks earlier, because of some problems with a liquid manure injection.

September 2005 – Typhoon Longwang kills 96 people at the Japanese coast; en gradually diminishes to a tropical storm.

September 2005 – Hurricane Rita strikes Louisiana, kills seven people directly, and causes many more casualties during evacuations and from indirect consequences (fires, car crashes, illness, poisoning). Eventually, the official death toll is set on 120.

August 2005 - Hurricane Katrina causes devastation in the American cities of New Orleans and Louisiana; beaches erode, more than 1,600 people die, and survivors plunder stores and use violence against each other and against authorities.

July 2005 – Typhoon Haitang strikes Taiwan and China. Heavy squalls and rains cause 13 casualties, and at least 18 people are severely wounded.

July 2005 – Large parts of Bombay, India are flooded, causing more than 1,000 casualties.

June 2005 – Severe monsoon rains in Gujarat, India cause floods, resulting in 123 deaths, and about 250,000 evacuees.

March 2005 – An earthquake near Fukuoka, Japan hurts 70 people severely, and causes light wounds on more than 1,000 people. The many after shocks result in the evacuation of a large number of people.

2005 – Extreme droughts result in failed maize harvest, followed by famine in Malawi, Southeast Africa.

December 2004 - Tanker Selendang Ayu from Malaysia strands near the coast of Alaska, breaks in two, and leaks about 500,000 litres of oil into the ocean.

December 2004 – Indian Ocean earthquake causes tsunami and subsequently kills almost a quarter of a million people (see environmental disasters).

October 2004 – Earthquake in Chuetsu, Japan leaves 3,000 people injured, and many more lose their homes.

March 2004 – Tank car containing bromine tilts near Ekeren, causing a bromine cloud to form and leaking 6000 litres of bromine to the sewers, subsequently flowing into the River Schelde. About 3,000 people are evacuated, and a major clean-up operation starts.

October 2003 – Large fire in the south of California (US) causes 14 casualties. Nearly 3,000 square kilometres of forest is burned, along with more than 3,500 houses.

October 2003 – A fire in San Bernardino Mountains in California (US) kills 6 people, and destroys nearly 1,000 homes. Nearly 400 square kilometre forest is lost.

August 2003 – Extreme heat wave in Europe results in more than 2,000 casualties. On some locations temperatures exceed 40oC.

June 2003 – Iraqi civilians steal a number of uranium containers from a nuclear power plant, and rinse them out in rivers. The barrels are applied to store milk, tomatoes and drinking water. Selling the barrels makes it extremely hard to trace any (see environmental effects of warfare).

June 2003 – Fire destroys nearly 350 square kilometres of land in Santa Catalina Mountains in Arizona (US). Approximately 340 homes are destroyed, and total costs are about 24 million dollar.

December 2002 – Oil tanker Tricolor collides with another ship near the coast of France. During the clean-up operation multiple accidents cause oil spills (see environmental disasters).

November 2002 - Left-wing rebels from Colombia detonated 123 pipelines by means of dynamite. The amount of oil leaking from the pipes is three times that leaking from the oil tanker Exxon Valdez in 1989 (see environmental disasters).

November 2002 – Storms cause some problems for tanker Prestige, resulting in cracking of the tanker, and a 170,000 litre oil spill that flows in the direction of Belgium and The Netherlands.

August 2002 - Chlorine gas is emitted from the Spolana chemical plant in Czechia, near Prague. The direct cause appears to be flooding of the River Elbe, causing water damage that results in leaking storage tanks.

August 2002 - Forest fires, exhaust fumes, industrial discharge and coal and manure burning cause a three kilometre thick blanket of brown smoke over India, Myanmar, South-China, large parts of Southeast-Asia and the Pacific. Smog contains mostly soot, sulphur dioxide and greenhouse gases, and causes floods and crop failure, among other effects.

June 2002 – Major forest fire near Denver, Colorado (US) results in the evacuation of more than 5,000 people. The fire starts as a small campfire and rapidly spreads over more than 200 square kilometres because of extreme drought. More than 40 million dollars of damage repair is required.

June 2002 – Fire in Arizona burns more than 2,000 square kilometres of forest, and more than 30,000 people are evacuated.

October 2001 - Cyanide spill from a ruptures dam pollutes the Asuman River in the west of Ghana. Thousands of cubic metres of water containing cyanide and heavy metals causes many fish, brabs and birds to die, and drinking water in nearby cities is polluted.

September 2001 – Explosion at a nitrogen fertilizer plant in Toulouse, France, causes a big crater to form, and thirty people are killed instantly. More than 10,000 people get hurt, and 40,000 people are left homeless. The plant is completely destroyed.

September 2001 – Terrorist attacks of the World Trade Centre in the US cause about 3,000 casualties, among which are many fire fighters. The event causes an environmental disaster, as an atmospheric plume forms over lower Manhattan (see environmental effects of warfare).

March 2001 - The largest oil platform in the world, the P-36 of Brazilian oil society Petrobras, threatens to tilt over. One leg cracks and the platform moved 35 degress forward. A series of explosions kills two people, and another eight are missing. Measures are taken to keep the hulk from tilting over completely.

Januari 2001 - Oil tanker Jessica strands near the Galapagos Isles, about 1000 kilometres west of Equador. An estimated 800 tons of oil leaks into the sea, and many seaguls and other sea birds die.

May 2000 – Fireworks container explodes in Enschede, The Netherlands, kills 23 people, and injures 950 more people.

May 2000 – Hard winds and extreme drought cause a major fire in New Mexico (US) from what started as a small controlled fire. More than 190 square kilometres of forest fully burned, and more than 400 families lost their homes in the flames.

January 2000 – About 100,000 m3 water with hydrogen cyanide flows from the River Tisza to the Danube River, after a leak in a settling basin in Baia Mare (see environmental disasters).


- BBC news
- Encyclopaedia Brittannica
- Nu.nl
- NRC Handelsblad
- Wikipedia

About Lenntech

Lenntech BV
Distributieweg 3
2645 EG Delfgauw

tel: +31 152 610 900
fax: +31 152 616 289
e-mail: info@lenntech.com

Copyright © 1998-2018 Lenntech B.V. All rights reserved