A half-a-mile section of the Yellow River, the second longest river in China and the fifth longest in the world, has turned red, after an unknown pollutant was discharged into it from a sewage pipe in Lanzhou, a city of two-million residents in western Gansu Province. Local authorities have taken samples from the tainted, smelly section of the river, to ascertain whether the sewage or waste discharged in to the river was toxic. Almost all the rivers in this most populous country in the world are polluted, denying access to clean drinking water to millions of people living along their banks. A chemical spill caused by an industrial explosion during last November, increased the level of carcinogens in the Songhua River, forcing the authorities to cut water supply to the Harbin City, for five days, sending its residents on frenzy to stack up water supplies.

Yellow river is the water source to millions of people in China. The half-a-mile polluted section turned rose-colored instead of the usual milky brown color. An official from the Yellow River Water Resource Committee in Lanzhou confirmed the incident and said that the exact reason behind the ‘tainting’ was unclear, since the analysis of the samples taken from the polluted section of the river was not completed.

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