Russia has declared a state of emergency in response to a 20,000-ton diesel spill in the Arctic Circle. At first, the power station tried to clean up the spill on their own. But after two days, the government discovered the spill through various social media channels.
The severity of this diesel spill can only be described as catastrophic.
This is the worst oil spill to occur in modern Russia. The fuel tank collapsed and leaked into the Ambarnaya River, which is located by the city of Norilsk, last Friday. From there, the power station crew tried to clean it in secret until the news got out on Sunday.
By Wednesday, a state of emergency was declared in Russia.
How Did a Fuel Tank Collapse?
Many structures in very cold places are built on top of permafrost. This is a very thick frozen soil that never unfreezes and is found in polar regions. It can be compared to concrete in its structural integrity, which is why structures are built on it.
However, it is only safe to build on when it remains frozen.
As the climate begins to warm, permafrost is beginning to melt. This causes all structures that are built on it to begin sinking. And in more complicated structures like power plants, this can be a disaster.
It is very fair to say that this diesel spill was actually the result of climate change.
It Will Not Be A Quick Clean Up
The Arctic Circle is in Siberia, which is not suitably equipped to handle a spill of this magnitude. Realistically, it could take weeks to get started on the cleanup.
To make matter worse, the river is not navigable (no ships can travel on it) and there are no roads by it. This means those in charge of relief efforts first need to figure out how to get equipment to the contaminated area before any progress can be made.