An ‘ecological disaster’ of sorts is unfolding on a black volcanic beach of the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East, according to a report in the media outlet Siberian Times.
- Three weeks ago, surfers on the Khalaktyrsky beach outside Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the largest town in Kamchatka, had reported of burning eyes, throat ache, headache, fever and a fear of losing eyesight on emerging from the water, according to the outlet.
- Then, sea animals begin to die in large numbers, their bodies littering the beach. These included octopuses, seals, sea urchins, stars, crabs and fish. Examination of the sea water by the administration has shown that levels of phenols and oil compounds have spiked.
- The special envoy of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the region has ordered an immediate inquiry into the developments.
- On October 3, 2020, users on Twitter also shared satellite photos showing a river in the area flowing into the Pacific Ocean. The river displayed a yellow colour. There is a training camp of the Russian military upstream. Another theory being speculated is that ships carrying oil in the vicinity had leaked it into the sea water. Kamchatka is a UNESCO world heritage site.